Extra Benefits of Outdoor Exercise

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – Tomorrow’s workout? Just open the front door and take it outside! If you do, you’ll probably burn more calories than you would at your gym.

Kathy Craft’s gym classes aren’t gym classes at all.  

A foot bridge becomes a challenge; a hiking trail instead of that stair master.

“If you are in an indoor exercise class, you are watching the clock, when is this going to end, and thinking about the rest of your day, instead of being in the moment,” said Craft, a fitness instructor at Energetix Fitness.

Outdoor versus indoor workouts? Experts say calorie-wise, outdoors takes first. Moving over different terrain is tougher, the wind burns more calories, and more Vitamin D means more endorphins.

 Mary Ann Ransler, who takes the class, told Ivanhoe, “Coming out here in the fresh air, it just really relieves my stress.”

Nearly a dozen studies agree outdoors beat indoors by nearly every test: increased energy and revitalization, while decreasing depression, tension, and anger. Also if you start exercising outside, you’re more likely to stick with your regimen than your indoor counterparts.

“I think people are happier when they are exercising outdoors because they’re not staring at a screen, being told what their heart rate is,” explained Rebecca Barker, M.D., internal medicine at Palo Alto Medical Foundation in California. “I think people will push themselves harder when they’re not reminded of what they’re doing.”

Finally, exercising outdoors doesn’t come with monthly dues. Also you never know who might show up to cheer you on.

Outdoor workouts can also be “family time”. Instead of yet another circuit training class, go chase your child through a park. You’ll probably burn as many or more calories.


Contributors to this news report include: Tana Castro, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor; Rusty Reed, Videographer.