Research suggests that outdoor exercise may have even more health benefits than a trip to the gym.
Want a workout that burns more calories, saves you money, makes you happier and lets you be more spontaneous? Take your workout outside! Research suggests that outdoor exercise may have even more health benefits than a trip to the gym.
Here are seven reasons from MSN’s Fitbie to take your workout outdoors:
1. You’ll work out longer
Exercising outdoors lets you take a break from your gym rut to breathe new air into your exercise routine. And speaking of air, breathing the fresh outdoor air gives your endorphins a boost and recharges your energy, so you’ll work out longer without even noticing.
2. You’ll burn more calories
Outdoor exercise tends to be more strenuous than indoor exercise. Why? When you exercise outside, you’re faced with a number of factors that can make your workout more challenging, whether you realize it or not. Wind resistance, changes in terrain, and sometimes, high temperatures (your body has to work harder to cool down in hotter weather) can cause you to burn up to 7 percent more calories than sweating it out inside.
3. You’ll save money
A no-brainer. Gym memberships are expensive. In fact, 85 percent of Americans spend up to $600 per year on memberships to a gym.
4. You’ll be happier
Studies have shown that outdoor physical activity has a 50 percent greater positive effect on mental health than going to the gym. Those who exercised outside reported less tension, confusion, anger and depression. Even just five minutes of outdoor exercise can significantly improve mood and self-esteem.
5. You’ll fight germs
Let’s face it — gyms can sometimes be … well, stinky. I wonder why. That climate-controlled, convenient indoor air may actually be two to five times more polluted than the air outside.
6. You’ll think more clearly
Being outdoors has an “immunizing effect.” It helps us concentrate and clear our minds of the day’s stress and anxiety.
7. You’ll work out whenever you want
Freedom! No more waiting for the treadmill or elliptical machine. No more trying to fit your schedule around the gym’s schedule. By working out outside, you’re free to fit fitness in when it’s convenient for you.
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