Indoor vs. Outdoor Exercise: Pros & Cons Of Your Workout Environment


Indoor workouts are great during fall and winter. However, during the spring and summer months the outdoors call us to go outside. Don’t feel you have to move your exercise just because of the weather, though. There are definitely pros and cons to each option.

Indoor exercise

Pro: A stable environment facilitates a regular exercise routine

When you exercise indoors it’s easy to get into a regular routine. There’s never a problem if the weather is too hot, cold, rainy, or otherwise. The workout doesn’t rely on other outside factors like the time of day, where you are, or other things. If you’re the type of person who needs to have a strict exercise routine to stay on track, the indoor route may be best for you. Whether it’s your house or the gym, it offers a stable, consistent workout time and time again. You don’t have to think about it; it’s just there.

Pro: Working out with others is motivating and a great family activity

Working out in a gym or with family members at home offers the benefit of interacting with others. Having others exercising right next to you can really boost your effort and performance, thereby giving you greater results in a shorter time. Working out at home as a family can have benefits that go far beyond your daily workout. It is never too early to expose children to exercise – in fact, if parents get children into the habit of exercising while they are young, it is a gift that will last a lifetime.

Pro: An equipment workout is easier to control and modify

When you work out on a piece of cardiovascular equipment, it is easier to make specific changes in your workout and to measure your progress. For example, when working our on a treadmill you can gradually increase incline, or speed to push yourself to increase your fitness level. Much of the equipment has heart rate interface, and you can train in a specific target zone by varying the workout intensity. It is also easy to do timed intervals to increase endurance by again varying incline, or speed.

Con: Home workouts can be distracting

For workouts in the home, there may be too many distractions for a productive routine. Things like the telephone, neighbors, mail, pets and children can all put a damper on the most well-intentioned program.

Outdoor exercise

Pro: Being outside is pleasurable

When you exercise outdoors, you can enjoy the beauty of nature. You’ll see and hear the birds. Your senses will get drawn into the surroundings as you experience the air, sounds, smells, textures and sights. If you live in a less than beautiful neighborhood, the view may not be too motivating. However, in the country or suburbs the homes and gardens may give your day the serene beginning you need.

Pro: If you don’t want to socialize during your workout, it’s easiest to avoid outside

You’ll see other people especially if you exercise in the same place and at the same time every day, but you can always pass by without interacting. It’s easier to escape another person outside. If you don’t want to interact with anyone, you’re better off here.

Con: Weather and physical obstacles provide a good excuse to stay home

When you exercise outside you must deal with weather changes, which means you must be highly motivated to do your routine daily without the interest and push from others. There my not be any friends waiting for you either. Pavement and footing isn’t always flat and stable so if you’re prone to ankle problems you’ll have to really watch it. And if it’s raining, the cozy bed may help you keep your eyes shut more than propel you into action. The heat can also be a deterrent to getting your regular workouts in during the hot summer months.

Whichever location you choose for your workouts remember: The important thing is that you are working out. Making your body move is your number one concern. It doesn’t matter to your body if you’re inside or out. It will be happy exercising no matter what, and reward you with the riches of good health in return. Having the option to work out inside or outside gives you the ability to stick with your workouts no matter what is happening in the environment around you!

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