Saturday, April 4, 2009

Benefits of Working Out In Nature vs. at the Gym

We went on another nature hike yesterday. This time we hiked with the toddler in his brand new jogging stroller. The hike included some rather hilly parts, so we got some good exercise. We ended up hiking for about 1 1/2 hours (with a 10-15 minute stop in the middle to give the toddler the opportunity to walk around and look at some animals). It felt great to be outside and to get some exercise as a family!!! I really want to set a good example for the toddler and instill the importance of eating right and exercising from an early age.

While I love going to the gym (on most days), exercising outside, and especially in nature, just seems to have added benefits for my physical and mental well being:
  1. I always feel a lot calmer after I exercise outside.
  2. There is a sense that I "got away from it all" that I just don't have after a gym workout.
  3. I don't have to smell other people who are working out around me.
  4. I am not tempted to watch T.V. and look at "perfect" bodies that I could end up comparing myself to.
  5. The air is better.
  6. I get to see beautiful flowers, trees, and, animals.
  7. I get to feel the wind in my hair and sunshine on my skin.
  8. I don't have to wait for a cardio machine.
  9. I don't have to fight with the locker and worry that it won't open. (It's a long story...)
  10. I don't have to worry that the annoying trainer will try to sell me his training sessions!
Be well,