It’s no wonder you don’t feel like going to the gym. Being crammed in a building with fluorescent lights and a bunch of sweaty strangers breathing heavily next to you is not my idea of a good time, either. Although I keep my gym membership year around, I’m able to be consistent about my workouts because 80% of the time, I lace up my sneakers and go outside, skipping the gym. I look forward to the fresh air, the sounds of nature and the freedom to move about.
There has always been something more inspiring to me about running a trail or even walking at the park or in my neighborhood than getting on an elliptical machine or a treadmill. Maybe you’re the same?
Here are 4 reasons why heading outside for your workouts is better than running that hamster wheel at your local gym:
- You get a better workout—when you’re outside, there are natural gradient changes in the road that boost your calorie burning power. Also, you don’t have the option to end your workout at anytime by pressing a button.
- The air is better—as long as you’re not running alongside a busy road and breathing in car exhaust, the fresh air outside is much better than what you will find in a gym. Airborne germs from other people, dust and chemical laden cleaning products are all lurking at your gym.
- You can tune in—to the changing of the seasons, the feel of the air on your skin and the sounds of nature. We spend so much of our lives indoors that we can lose touch with the natural rhythms of nature.
- You have more freedom—to choose your route, to sing at the top of your lungs, and to never wait again! We all know one of the biggest drags at the gym is when you’ve gotten yourself there and have to stand in line to get on the treadmill.
Now, I’m not saying its a good idea to ditch your gym membership altogether. The gym is still necessary for weight training, classes and those times when it’s too cold or dark to head outside for your run.
At the same time, choosing to head outside for your next cardio workout may just give you the inspiration and the type of experience you’ll want to have again and again. And with any good workout routine, it only works if you feel compelled to stick with it.
Do you have a reason that you prefer exercising outdoors instead of at the gym? I’d love to hear your thoughts.