Some people love hitting the gym, while others prefer to get their exercise outdoors in the fresh air.
Each to their own. But are there any actual differences in the benefits to your body?
A new study from the University of Innsbruck suggests that the answer is yes.
It compared walking outdoors with similar exercise on the gym treadmill.
Although the outdoor hike was actually more strenuous, the participants believed it to be less strenuous than a similar length stint on a treadmill.
So what does that mean?
That you’re more likely to exercise for longer when out among nature.
In addition, the study revealed another benefit. That people’s moods were significantly improved during and after the outdoor activity, with levels of fatigue reduced.
People are more likely to continue an activity they enjoy, so these findings bode well for those trying to get into an exercise regime.
Here are five great ways to get your exercise fix in the great outdors:
Go for a run
It’s the most obvious and easiest way to get the heart pumping in the fresh air. All you need is a pair of running shoes and you’re good to go.
Even if ocean swimming isn’t your bag, outdoor pools can be found all over Australia. Check out the rock pools at the beach or lap pools in the park. It’s the perfect way to exercise and cool off all at the same time during those balmy summer months.
Take a yoga class in the park
Breathing is such an important part of your yoga practice, so you may as well make sure you’re doing it with some top notch fresh air.
These days, there’s no shortage of outdoor yoga classes to choose from. Simply grab your yoga mat and head out in time to take in the sun rise.
Take a hike
Perfect for adventurous souls, hiking is also a great way to exercise, particularly for those that aren’t that keen on exercising per se.
All those scenic distractions – the trees, the birds, the flowers- can distract you from all the hard slog you are actually doing.
Join an outdoor bootcamp
Springing up all over the place, outdoor bootcamps are fast catching up with gyms in terms of sheer popularity.
Trainers bring along a couple of pieces of multifunctional equipment that ensure you get just as good a workout as you would in a gym, with the added benefit of team spirit.
Do you prefer exercising outdoors?