The Pros And Cons Of An Outdoor And Indoor Workout

When you think of working out, you probably think of hitting the gym. But what about exercising outdoors? Is there a benefit to getting outside versus the climate-controlled haven of a gym? Knowing the negative and positive aspects of working out outdoors and indoors will help you make the choice that is best for you and your fitness needs.

​For those of you who are just getting started on your fitness journey, this list can help you decide where to start in terms of location. If you’re already a seasoned pro, you may find some reasons to change up your usual workout routine. Here are the pros and cons of exercising outdoors and indoors:

​OUTDOOR WORKOUTS

Pros

Soaking Up Vitamin D

Via Pixabay.com

Your body produces vitamin D when exposed to the sun. The National Institute of Health lists a slew of benefits from vitamin D intake, but most importantly, vitamin D promotes calcium absorption and keeps your bones healthy.

This is especially important for women, who are at a higher risk of osteoporosis. If you want your workout to count, you have to make sure your body has the vitamins it needs to be at its best—exercising outside will keep you active and keep your bones strong.


Boost Your Mood

Not only does the sun help your body produce key vitamins, it’s also a mood booster. According to one study of over 800 participants, people who exercise outside reported increases in energy, decreases in anger, and an overall feeling of revitalization.

Compared with people who exercised indoors, those who exercised outdoors were more likely to exercise again—so if you’re not too keen on the idea of working out, going outside could be just the motivator you need.


Varied scenery

It can be incredibly boring to run on a treadmill, staring at nothing. Exercising outdoors is a fun way to change up the scenery. You can run through your favorite park or through the streets of downtown.

In fact, The New York Times reported that running or cycling outside actually resulted in a better workout than simply running on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike. There’s something more rewarding about actually moving from one place to another as opposed to running in place. If the thought of stationary exercise bores you to tears, try getting up and getting outside to bring some fun back into your workout.

Cons

Weather Hazards

Via Pixabay.com

If you’re considering going outside to exercise, you have to consider the weather. If you live in an area that’s mostly temperate, this may not be much of an issue. However, for those of you who live in places with more extreme weather, you have to take necessary precautions before you venture outside. And no matter where you live, you’ll encounter wet weather at some point, which comes with its own set of concerns.


  • Precipitation

Rain, sleet, snow, or hail—any type of precipitation makes for slippery conditions outside, especially when ice forms on the sidewalk. Choose footwear with added traction to help prevent falls, or pick a more stationary type of exercise to minimize the risk of slipping.


  • Extreme Cold

In winter weather, always consider temperature, precipitation, and wind chill. Wear clothes that will keep you adequately warm, including gloves and hats. But don’t dress too warmly—while you’re exercising, your body generates heat.

Dress in layers that you can remove as you start to get warm. As your workout winds down and your body cools off, you can then bundle back up. Try to find clothes in wind-resistant material to help cancel out the wind chill.

Before you go out in the cold, make sure you know the signs of hypothermia (extremely low body temperature) and frostbite. The Mayo Clinic lists the warning signs of hypothermia as extreme shivering, loss of coordination, slurring of speech, and fatigue. The signs of frostbite include localized numbness, loss of sensation, or tingling sensations.

It commonly occurs in extremities, like your hands and feet. If hypothermia is suspected, you should seek immediate medical attention. For frostbite, slowly warm the affected area, seeking medical attention only if the numbness or tingling doesn’t abate.


  • Extreme Heat

Hot weather and exercising both increase your core body temperature, so your body has to work even harder to keep you cool. Plus, when it’s humid outside, the sweat on your body doesn’t evaporate as quickly, which leads to higher body temperatures.

If your body is under too much stress to adjust to the heat, it can lead to serious consequences. As the Mayo Clinic points out, there are several heat-related illnesses to be aware of if you’re going to exercise in hot weather. Heat exhaustion occurs when your body temperature rises to 104°F. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, headache, weakness, and clammy skin.

Heat exhaustion can worsen into heat stroke, which can be life threatening.Heat stroke occurs if your body temperature exceeds and 104°F. Symptoms include irritability, confusion, irregular heart rhythm, dizziness, nausea, vision problems, and fatigue.

If you suspect heat stroke, seek immediate medical attention, as it can result in brain damage, organ failure, and death.If you’re going to work out in hot weather, make sure you stay adequately hydrated. If you feel yourself getting light headed or nauseous, stop exercising and cool down.

INDOOR WORKOUTS

best treadmill under 1000

Pros

All Of Your Fitness Equipment In One Convenient Location

Workout out indoors is convenient if you rely on fitness equipment for your workout. You’re just not going to find an elliptical out in the wild, and lugging your free weights outside seems like a lot of work.

Working out indoors means you have a dedicated space for exercising, and you can keep all of your equipment in a centralized location. Or in the case of the gym, you can simply waltz in and find every type of exercise equipment at your disposal.


Group Fitness Classes

Group fitness classes allow you to engage in new type of workouts that you may not have learned on your own. Since these classes are run by certified professionals, you have the comfort of knowing that they can help correct your form. Exercising with improper form can lead to serious injury, so having a trainer around to help you is a huge plus.

Group classes also keep you accountable. When you work out alone, you can skip all those difficult moves like Burpees. In a group setting, you have your peers and your trainer watching you, so you’re less likely to get lazy.


Gym Amenities

If you’re a gym member, check out what kind of amenities they offer. Many gyms have saunas, steam rooms, hot tubs, and even on-staff masseuses. These amenities can be a great way to bring a little luxury into your life.

Working out can feel less difficult if you can reward yourself with a relaxing soak in a hot tub afterwards! For those of you with children, finding a gym with childcare facilities means you can work out while knowing your kids are well cared for.

If you never know what to eat before or after a workout, a gym with a snack or smoothie bar can be a great resource. These snack bars offer high-protein foods and other nutrition-packed options to help your body make the most of your workout.


Weather-Controlled, Allergen-Free Spaces

Working out indoors negates all the effects of weather—you don’t have to worry about getting too cold or too hot, especially if you’re in an air-conditioned space. This also means you can spend less time worrying about what to wear and more time focused on your workout.

If you live in area with high air pollution, staying indoors can protect your lungs from the harmful air. According to the National Resources Defense Council, these negative effects can include eye and throat irritation; lung damage; and exacerbation of existing respiratory conditions.

For people who suffer from allergies, indoor workouts keep you away from any offending allergens like pollen.


Personal Trainers

Via Pixabay.com

Personal training is an excellent way to learn various exercises. Since personal trainers are certified professionals, they’re able to show you the correct form for whatever you’re doing.

If you’re new to working out and feel unsure about what you’re doing, spending time working with a personal trainer can give you the skills you need to work out on your own later. Having a personal trainer also adds accountability to working out.

You can’t just skip the gym if you have an actual appointment to go to! And while you’re working out, your personal trainer will make sure you really do every last rep—no more slowing down because you’re tired.

Cons

The Price Of A Gym Membership

Whereas the great outdoors is free to all, most gyms charge a membership fee that varies according to the amenities you want to pay for. Upon joining, a lot of gyms will hit you with a registration fee in addition to their monthly membership fee. And sure, those fancy amenities are great in theory, but they come at a price.

Basic gym memberships, while cheaper, usually don’t cover things like group fitness or personal trainers. If you’re strapped for cash, paying a monthly fee for the gym may be out of the question.If you’re a student, see if your local gym offers student discounts.

If you’re enrolled in college, see if your institution has its own exercise facilities—usually, they’re available to students free of charge, with fitness classes for a nominal fee. For those of you who are employed, check to see if your employer has any gym partnerships. You may be able to get a discounted rate.


Getting To The Gym

If you do your indoor exercising at a gym or other fitness facility, it can be really tough to motivate yourself to get up and go there. For those of you who live far away from a gym, the idea of driving fifteen minutes to get to the gym can be a psychological hurdle that is tough to overcome.

For people who don’t have a car, getting yourself to the gym can be difficult. If you live in an urban area, you can check out public transportation, but if not, you may be out of luck.


Gymtimidation

The gym, for all its great services, can be an intimidating place. In fact, there’s even a word for this specific fear of the gym: gymtimidation. Gymtimidation results from a feeling of self consciousness that only gets heightened from seeing a bunch of really muscular guys or skinny women exercising around you.

If you don’t feel comfortable with your weight or physique, your perceived imperfections can be heightened around all these “perfect” people. It may seem silly to some, but poor body image is no joke.

According to a study published in Public Health, body image is a leading reason why already-overweight women avoid the gym. For people who already struggle with body image, comparing yourself to the other people at the gym can leave you feeling even worse about yourself.

If you’re susceptible to gymtimidation, try working out in a less public place until you feel more comfortable. Ultimately, where you work out is totally up to you. Some people might prefer outdoors to indoors or vice versa, but you should feel free to mix it up depending on your needs.

Now that you can carefully weigh the pros and cons, you’ll have a much easier time deciding where to exercise. No matter where you decide to work out, what’s important is that you’re staying active. Go for a run in the park or take a fitness class at your local gym—just get out there and work out!

Author Bio

Rene D. Daniel has been writing about fitness, nutrition, and tips for maintaining an active lifestyle for nearly 10 years. When he’s not investigating the latest workout trend, he can be found practicing self defense at his local Krav Maga Worldwide studio.

The Benefits Of Running From A Retired Athlete’s Perspective

On the surface, thoroughbred jockeys rely heavily on real live horsepower to take them to the finish line. However, like any other athlete from any other sport, these riders also train extensively, as galloping with a half ton physical specimen for 40 miles per hour requires more than just a strong grip.

Via Pixabay.com

Along with their horses, jockeys follow a strict and precise training regimen focused on strength, stability, and, of course, endurance. Ray Paulick points out how riders’ fitness has changed over the years. The days of unfit jockeys who hop on their thoroughbreds for a major race following a long night out of heavy partying are gone.

We, as a collective group of fitness enthusiasts, are at the peak of scientific conditioning. This involves also cross training in other activities and sports. Whether we’re avid runners or competitive jockeys, fitness will always be key, which is why putting in the road-work does wonders to the career of a jockey.

In the United Kingdom, for instance, there’s the British Racing School, which is a popular specialized boot camp for budding and novice jockeys. It’s a hit amongst aspiring riders, Betfair, a website that also covers major events such as the Cheltenham Festival, granted scholarships during last year’s Stable Staff Week.

For their part, the British Racing School is known for its scientific yet simple fitness programs specifically catered for jockeys. By basing it on the actual training methods of the institution, getting race fit involves building key muscle groups to guide horses in the quickest, most powerful way possible.

Though they don’t look like the part, underneath these riders are lean and ripped. While upper body strength remains vital in terms of controlling the horse, the core and legs are still the most used parts of a jockey’s body, which is why these are the primary focus of their fitness training.

Aside from riding on the track and lifting weights in the gym, horse racers spend five to six mornings a week doing aerobic exercises. This includes cycling and running. ESPY nominated jockey, Alex Solis, considers himself a runner at heart.

Back in the day, Solis ran between two to four miles around the track to maintain his ideal body weight of 112 pounds. Since he currently lives in California, he does a lot of running by the beach, or anywhere outdoors like up the San Gabriel Mountains and the Mount Wilson Trail.

For Alex Solis, running is the best method to lose weight and stay fit. It also used to allow him to mentally prepare for an upcoming race. Today, at 52 years of age, he still is in prime condition, and can still keep pace with some jockeys two to three decades his junior, thanks to a dedicated training regimen based on cardio.

Alex Solis’ name will always be up there in terms of the greatest examples of a fit jockey. In essence, he’s the embodiment of what running does to an athlete’s overall fitness.

Thanks a lot!

A Guide To Selecting The Best Backpack For Running

Are you a newbie in running and you need to purchase the right backpack for you? Or do you need a bag for your next marathon? You see, you need the best backpack for running that will join you on your training.

You will need this to store your training essentials, including water, snacks, gears, etc. Also, you may need it, especially if you are always commuting from your home to your gym or a running terrain.

A running bag is a handy equipment. However, some runners may find choosing a running pack an overwhelming experience. So, below we have suggested some of the best running backpacks.

Different Styles Of Outdoor Backpacks

#1 Running Bag

It is a more conventional outdoor backpack. You can usually interchange it for running or hiking. However, more manufacturers produce bags that are purposely for running.

It has more capacity than any other packs. So, you can use it for different outdoor activities, and even vacation trips.

#2 Hydration Packs

It is quite a smaller backpack than traditional bags. Also, it has a lot of pockets for your bladder. It may also provide a few other compartments for storage. The primary purpose of this type of pack is for hydration.

#3 Waist Backpack

It has two types of waist bags. The first one is the running belt. The other one is the hydration belt. The only difference between the two is that the hydration belt has holsters that hold water bottles.

#4 Race Vest

It is a combination of hydration pack and running bag. A race vest is super lightweight. However, it has more storage slots placed on the front straps. These straps make the bag more like a vest.

#5 Handheld Hydration Backpack

It is a bottle carrier type of pack.

How To Choose The Best Running Backpack

#1 Find Out The Pack Use

All backpacks are not equal. You have to know if you are going to use it to run for long distances or marathons. Or perhaps you have to bring it for trail running and hiking.

The very first thing you have to settle on is the style and size of the pack. If you are going to run for long distances, you may want to obtain a larger bag for meals and hydration.

Moreover, another vital factor to consider is the weight of the bag. If you are planning to do more than one activity, then you may want to bring two different backpacks. So, you have to invest in a bag with the right features.

#2 Proper Location Of The Straps

The strap padding and the place of the strap play a vital role in choosing a bag for running. The main shoulder straps need to have some foam padding. So, make sure that there are pads all over your backpack.

You have to remember that thinly strapped bags may dig into your skin and may irritate it. You need to make sure that the straps have an adjustable length. Plus, they should feel comfortable when you pull them tighter to secure the pack properly.

If you are still in doubt of this feature, you may put a jumper or jacket in the bag. Then, you have to pull the straps tighter. If you feel uncomfortable, especially around your neck or shoulders, try a different style.

The straps with ventilation make a whole lot of difference when the weather’s too hot. Another thing to determine is the chest strap. The function of this feature is to take some weight of the bag. But, make sure that the straps are even across your chest.

Also, you need to adjust the length of the straps across your shoulder and chest. Make sure that you may search for the right tension point to comfortable place the bag diagonally your chest.

The chest straps determine the pressure. Most of these straps have elastic materials so that you can adjust the tension. You may place the pressure in your chest.

However, it should not be restrictive. You do not want your straps too loose or too tight. You must have them placed in the right places.

#3 The Fit Of The Pack

When you adjust the pack before your run, your posture is one of the key factors. It dictates how your bag should feel on your shoulders and back. Moreover, the pack needs to go with your normal position.

You do not need to alter your posture just to cope with the structure of the bag. Also, it could avoid any rounding or hunching of your back. Also, it must make your back, shoulders, and chin correctly positioned.

The perfect position of your pack depends on its weight and how you move. Plus, you need to make sure the points to bear the load of your bag.

#4 The Size Of The Backpack

A smaller backpack is better that a cumbersome pack. However, if you need to go on some trip for a few days, you may require more capacity to store some clothes and running essentials. 20 liters size is a minimum point for a lot of people. Also, most brands offer this size.

...So, here is a list of the top running packs you can purchase before your training

Best Backpack For Running

Almost all Mardingtop bag has a polyester, water-resistant material. So, it does not allow the water to enter the bag, especially during extreme weather conditions.

It has a 15-liter capacity, which is ideal for hiking, cycling, climbing, and running. Plus, this bag is fully functional and versatile. It comes with detachable waist belt and Velcro straps.

Moreover, the straps of this bag are elastic enough. Lastly, its hydration system is fully compatible with any weather. In fact, it can carry up to 2 liters of a hydration bladder.

Pros

  • This bag has a good fit, which is not too loose or tight to use when doing extreme activities.
  • Plus, it has adjustable straps, which you can attach or remove during your runs, climbs, and hikes.
  • It is lightweight and comfortable to carry. It’s as if you are not carrying a heavy load while running or walking.
  • Also, the pack comes with front compartments for small, valuable things such as keys and MP3 players.
  • Overall, the bag is compact, durable, and has enough room for your running gears and equipment.

Cons

  • None, so far.

The WACOOL bag is a running backpack that has 2 liters BPA-free water bladder. All of WACOOL products are very durable, anti-scratch, and waterproof.

For this model, it is ideal for cycling, running, hiking, and walking. It has a Velcro closure bladder with easy access to the first compartment.

Moreover, it comes with an additional front zipper pocket to keep your essentials like keys and cell phones.The bag has an adjustable chest strap.

Also, the pack comes with well-padded shoulder straps and an EVA pad on its back. It has an attachment drawstring that can hold your clothes, helmet, etc.

But, the main feature is that it is super comfortable and lightweight to use.

Pros

  • The product’s water bladder is easy to refill with any source of water.
  • Also, you can clean it quickly. The bag is easy to wash off. After cleaning the bag, it won’t leave any stains from mud and dirt in the exterior.
  • The bladder itself doesn’t give the water a plastic taste unlike other water bladders out on the market today. Some would leave a bitter taste in the water.
  • It properly secures your chest and shoulder. Thus, it makes sure of your security and protection while you are sprinting.
  • Additionally, there are some extra pockets for your essential things.

Cons

  • The back mesh line is quite rough. In fact, it may hurt your back during marathons and hikes.
  • The straps of the bag also have rugged materials. So, it can easily leave some marks on your delicate skin.
  • Lastly, the bladder opening of this bag is quite small. So, it is quite challenging to refill the bladder with ice water.

The WACOOL bag is a running backpack that has 2 liters BPA-free water bladder. All of WACOOL products are very durable, anti-scratch, and waterproof.

For this model, it is ideal for cycling, running, hiking, and walking. It has a Velcro closure bladder with easy access to the first compartment.

Moreover, it comes with an additional front zipper pocket to keep your essentials like keys and cell phones.The bag has an adjustable chest strap.

Also, the pack comes with well-padded shoulder straps and an EVA pad on its back. It has an attachment drawstring that can hold your clothes, helmet, etc.

But, the main feature is that it is super comfortable and lightweight to use.

Pros

  • The product’s water bladder is easy to refill with any source of water.
  • Also, you can clean it quickly. The bag is easy to wash off. After cleaning the bag, it won’t leave any stains from mud and dirt in the exterior.
  • The bladder itself doesn’t give the water a plastic taste unlike other water bladders out on the market today. Some would leave a bitter taste in the water.
  • It properly secures your chest and shoulder. Thus, it makes sure of your security and protection while you are sprinting.
  • Additionally, there are some extra pockets for your essential things.

Cons

  • The back mesh line is quite rough. In fact, it may hurt your back during marathons and hikes.
  • The straps of the bag also have rugged materials. So, it can easily leave some marks on your delicate skin.
  • Lastly, the bladder opening of this bag is quite small. So, it is quite challenging to refill the bladder with ice water.