- Running outside instead of on a treadmill increases the caloric burn by about 5 percent (due to wind and changing terrain).
- Changing temperatures increase calorie burn by about 7 percent because your body has to work to keep the internal temp at 98.6 degrees!
- SUN + EXERCISE = MOTHER NATURE'S ZOLOFT! This study, conducted in 2007 by researchers in England, found that outdoor workouts (i.e. A walk in the woods, a brief retreat, and even gardening) are ALL Better than anti-depressants alone! When they compared the mental benefits of a 30-minute walk outside with an indoor stroll, 71 percent who walked outside felt less tense after. 72 percent of the indoor walkers felt even more stressed.
The treadmill is one of my fondest old friends. I love that I can look down at any given second, and know EXACTLY how LONG I've been running, how FAR I've been running, how FAST I'm running, how much LONGER I'll be running, etc. I'm a numbers-kind-of-girl. But lately with my training, I've been running outside a lot more. And I have to say, I think I'm officially converted.
I honestly used to prefer the treadmill. Not anymore. When I'm outside, I don't feel like I'm running because I have to. I'm not yelling at kids to stay away from the treadmill, to share toys, to stop hitting each other. I don't increase my speed to hurry and get the run over with. I enjoy it. If the kids are with me in the jogging stroller, they enjoy it. I feel much more rejuvenated at the end. 10 miles outside feels like 4 miles on a treadmill (time-wise). Don't get me wrong. The treadmill has, and will always be my fall-back workout. But this summer, I'm going to take advantage of mother nature. I need it.
And running isn't all I'm going to do outside! Here are a few more outdoor workout ideas:
- Walking--one of the best lifetime sports!
- Jogging/Running--need I say more?
- Strength Training at the Park! Seriously...parks are FULL of FREE exercise equipment. Maybe I'll do a full post on this one later...I'm envisioning swing lunges using the swing to elevate the back leg, monkey bars for pull-up(s), straddling benches, swing/slide push-ups, stepping up onto benches, running around the playground, etc.
- Beach Yoga (for those vacationing or lucky enough to live in Sunny CA)
Are you convinced yet? Are you ready to trade in your gym membership? What gets you moving outside? Or do you still prefer the treadmill?