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Exercising Outdoors vs. Indoors – Which to Choose

Posted on 8/6/2012 by Sarah Dussault // Filed in Fitness, lifestyle leaders, reshape // Leave a Comment


While you may think working up a sweat outdoors vs. inside is a personal preference, one is actually better for you than the other. It turns out that enjoying the fresh air may have more health benefits than its alternative. Unless you live in the deep south (where it is very warm this time of year), now is the time to enjoy your workout outside.

According to a recent study, when physical activity was conducted outdoors the participants experienced a 50 percent greater positive effect from the exercise.* Aside from the obvious Vitamin D boost, the outdoor greenery also has a calming effect on our minds – making it the perfect activity after a long day!

Other benefits from working out outdoors include:

  • Increased ability to concentrate and pay attention.
  • Boost in daily Vitamin D absorption.
  • Less likely to skip out on anticipated workouts.
  • Energizing effect from fresh air.
  • More inclined to workout longer.

Another bonus? Fresh air is energizing! Spending as little as 20 minutes outside can have a similar energizing effect as a cup of coffee, according to a 2009 study from University of Rochester.

While the sun is still out after work hours, join a friend for a light jog or look online for classes held outdoors that are free to the public. In Boston, not only are classes offered in the evening along the Charles River, but also downtown before work on City Hall Plaza. Many programs partner with area gyms, so if you’re unsure of where to look, try calling local fitness clubs. You would be surprised at how many outdoor fitness opportunities are available to you!

Now, while we still have the extended daytime hours, call up a friend and see if you can both commit to an evening walk or jog at least twice a week. You’ll love the health benefits and energy boost!

*The findings come from a poll of about 2000 people in a 2008 Scottish survey.

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