The gym is never as entertaining as running outdoors, but it does offer some benefits to those that live in areas where there’s weather to account for. Gyms are convenient, providing simple solutions for varied schedules and containing all that’s necessary for a complete workout. But they still can’t replace the benefits of the great outdoors.
Working up a sweat outside comes with its own set of challenges, but it’s an activity that should be pursued every once in a while, especially when it’s warm and nice out. This change of pace will help you feel invigorated, give you a break from the routine of the gym, and provide you with different health benefits. Here are 5 of them.
It’s good for your mental health
Different studies have proved that fresh air is good for your mental health, lowering your stress levels and positively improving your mood. If you spend long hours inside an office the benefits of outdoor runs are even greater, providing you with a healthy routine that can give you some much needed perspective and a mental break.
It makes you run harder
Grass, rocks and dirt make your runs more intense than the treadmill, making you more present and aware of your surroundings. Interval runs are also easier and more entertaining when you’re outdoors, using landmarks and hills as different ways of marking your runs and increasing and decreasing your speed.
Great source of Vitamin D
Accounting for your daily vitamins is not as easy as you think, with 43% of Americans having a deficiency in vitamin D, according to one study. The sun is one of the best sources of vitamin D and running is an easy way of sneaking some in.
You’ll work on more muscles
Running atop of ground and pavement activates more muscles on your body, making you work harder on your glutes and hamstrings since these have to push themselves. Different studies also show that outdoor runs are more successful in increasing leg strength and ankle flexibility when compared to treadmill runs.
It leads to longer workouts
A more distracting and entertainment environment helps people stay there for longer periods of time, which is why people who work out outdoors tend to burn more calories. You can’t hit the stop button even if you want to.