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Exercising Outdoors vs. Indoors: Which is Better?

By Stepy Kamei

You more than likely already know the importance of sticking to a regular fitness routine. Whether you practice running, Zumba, cardio, yoga, or any other kind of workout, the evidence of its benefits doesn't lie: people who stay active on a consistent basis tend to experience lower levels of depression and anxiety, while also enjoying better heart health, improved appetite and sleep, and a more lifted mood overall. Still, you may be wondering whether it's better to hold your workout sessions indoors or outdoors. Keep on reading to learn more about the benefits and drawbacks of both types of workout, to see which best meets your specific lifestyle and fitness needs.

Working Out Indoors

Simply put, working out indoors puts you in a safer and more controlled environment, which is a significant benefit. If you're using equipment such as a treadmill or a rowing machine, you are exercising on a device that's designed for that task, so it's ultimately a smoother and more low-impact experience. This means you're more likely to be placing less stress on your joint, including your knees, hips, and ankles, which can prevent aches and pains from developing over time.

Working out indoors may also help you stay more focused on what you're doing, which could translate to more time spent exercising and more calories burned. You'll also be safe from the elements, which is a huge plus any time of year. Not worrying about exerting yourself in the heat, or slipping in rainy or icy conditions, can further improve your concentration.

Staying Active Outdoors

So, what is the benefit to exercising outside? The biggest benefit by bar is how it can boost your mental health. Countless studies have shown that the mere act of sitting outside (let alone walking, running, or exercising at all) can greatly boost feelings of happiness and contentment, and boost energy levels, while decreasing feelings of stress, anxiety, and fatigue.

Many people find that it's even easier to achieve their workout goals, especially if they're rewarded with stunning views while on a particular running or hiking trail. If you have easy access to any sort of nature area, it's not a bad idea to take advantage of it and exercise while being surrounded by breathtaking beauty.

Studies show that exercising outdoors, amidst sometimes unpredictable and rugged terrain, can also engage your hamstrings more than any gym equipment can. So, it's a great way to target specific muscles that may get underutilized in an indoor environment.

Any Exercise is Better Than No Exercise

The final word on this debate is that, when it comes down to it, any form of movement and exercise is better than none at all. Whether your fitness routine has you breaking a sweat inside a gym environment, or you're working out in the great outdoors, you've already made the important decision to make fitness a priority in your life, which you should be proud of. At the end of the day, you can always combine your fitness routines and mix things up, in order to get the best of both worlds. This might be the best choice for getting the most out of your workout routine.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Hoboken, N.J.

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