Take a Break From the Treadmill for a Better Workout!

By Stepy Kamei

One of the most popular choices of keeping fit is running, and it's not hard to see why. Running is simple, requires very little to do, and can easily fit into anyone's daily routine. Many of us choose to use a treadmill to get a great cardio workout a few times a week. While scientists agree there's nothing wrong with running in this setting, there is something to be said for the benefits of taking this kind of exercise outside. Barring any extreme weather patterns, it's a good idea to get outside for a run, at least on an occasional basis.

It Keeps Things Interesting

We all know how boring it can be to drag yourself to the same gym and the same treadmill every day. Sure, you know you're doing it for your health, but it definitely gets monotonous after a while. Going for a run outside will help engage your mind as well as your body. Choosing different paths to follow every time you go for a run will keep you stimulated and looking forward to seeing what's around the next corner. 

You'll Improve Your Fitness Level

It's true that many exercise machines offer the ability to increase inclines or resistance levels for a harder workout. Still, nothing beats the natural terrain that can be found outside. You can run on different textures (sand, grass, pavement) and literal levels (hills, valleys). This will work to tone different muscles in your body, as opposed to the same ones every time based on the same type of run on a treadmill.

You'll Fulfill Your Vitamin D Quotient for the Day

Exposure to sunlight is one of the best ways to get Vitamin D -- it's known as the sunshine vitamin for this reason. Vitamin D is crucial for sustaining and improving energy levels, and it acts as a natural mood booster. 

It'll Boost Your Mental Health

Numerous studies have shown the many positive effects spending time outdoors can have on a person's mental health. Exposure to sunlight, natural flora and fauna, and fresh air can combat episodes of depression and anxiety. Combine this with the act of exercising outside, and your overall health and wellness is more than likely going to benefit greatly. 

Start going for runs outside at least once a week to see how it can improve your physical and mental health. As you notice the perks this healthy habit can provide to you, you may just start making it a routine, if not daily, habit. If running is too difficult, you can get many of the same positive effects from a walk as well.