There are many different responses to the question of whether it is better to workout inside or outside. Everyone is different when it comes to working out so the answer varies by person. However, there are positives and negatives to each experience.
The first and most basic positive attribute of working out outdoors is the terrain differences. The body works more muscles with the changes in the landscape. With just the adjustment of a small hill, that increases the amount of muscles being worked out. The decline of a hill works parts of the body that you can’t workout while on a treadmill. This makes for a more difficult workout, which will burn more calories than being on a treadmill when running the same distance. It was shown that overall, those who ran on treadmills exerted less energy than those who ran outside. The weather variation also helps burn more calories with a hot climate rather than working out in an air conditioned gym. Additionally the body gets Vitamin D from the sun exposure of being outside, which is one of the vitamins needed for a healthy immune system and strong bones. Another constructive aspect of working out outside is the positivity that comes along with it. A study showed that those who went outside had decreases in tension, confusion, anger, and depression as well as increased energy, more enjoyment, and more motivation of working out. Furthermore, a study concluded that those working out outdoors stayed out longer and more often than those indoors. However, there are some factors that can influence the decision of exercising outdoors.
Weather conditions play a major role in having the ability to workout outside. You need to know what your body can take. For example the signs of dehydration and heat exhaustion in the summer and the signs of frost bite and hypothermia in the winter. What to wear are key components in these extreme conditions, such as multiple layers in the winter. Another factor is if you live in an area that is prone to air pollution, the better option may be to exercise indoors. Air pollution can cause respiratory problems such as asthma and allergies which may do more harm than good if you went outside to workout. With this being said, there are supportive facts for working out in a gym, even though there are many positives of being outside.
Working out in a gym immediately comes with the variety in workouts. There are multiple classes that come with a membership for anyone to take such as kickboxing, swimming, and Zumba. These classes help entertain and motivate people while keeping it different almost every time to increase diversity in the amount of muscles used. This gives a better full body exercise because they are designed to do so. If you do not end up taking a class, there are still plenty of types of equipment to add variation in muscle groups each time you exercise. Along with the equipment, the ability to adjust the weight will help beginners and experienced gymgoers to increase or decrease the amount of difficulty in every workout. Additionally, a study has shown that working out with a partner increases motivation to work harder and keep up routine. A gym membership may cost some money but it is a good source of motivation to keep going.
It is important to keep mixing it up when it comes to exercising. The more muscles you continue to workout, the stronger and healthier you will be. Having a good balance of indoor and outdoor activity and exercise, whether it be cycling, hiking, or lifting weights will be fulfilling. Each person is different with what they prefer but after all, any work out is better than none.
- By Ally Lowery, Dreissig Apparel Inc.