October 17, 2013

3 Reasons You Should Make the Great Outdoors Your Gym. ~ Drew Kobb

If you’re looking for a great place to get your workout groove on, look no further than the great outdoors.

You don’t need a gym to get into shape. All you need is good, clean oxygen and the motivation to break a sweat. Those are two things no gym can provide as well as the one out your front door. And if you’re at a loss as to how any outdoor workouts can equal one done in your local or in-home gym, here are a few ideas to get you excited about claiming the outdoors as your gym.

Higher Oxygen Levels

It should come as no surprise that the great outdoors has a higher oxygen level than any indoor gym. And when you’re working out, you want to make sure you’re breathing in the right amount of oxygen. Well, the outdoors provides all the oxygen your body needs, so it can rid itself of the toxins you inhale on a daily basis.

Not only that, but you need more oxygen while exercising. You wouldn’t start a workout session without enough water to keep you hydrated throughout your routine, and you should be just as concerned about oxygen depletion as you are about hydration. Your body needs clean air while exercising just as much as it needs water.

So, work out where oxygen is in abundance. You’ll keep your body oxygenated and purified.

Better For Your Wallet

Gyms cost money—whether you’re going to an established gym or you have one in your own home. If you’re going to a local gym, that money will come in the form of a monthly membership, but if you’ve got your own equipment, you’ll spend a lot of money upfront.

Regardless of which way you’re spending—or have spent—your money, you shouldn’t have to spend any money at all just to find somewhere to work out. You can go outside, spending no money at all, and do similar workouts. Then, you can save all of that money for something you actually need and can’t get anywhere else, like a sorely-needed vacation (where you can even show off your new bod). That’s what my family did.

My wife and I got a gym membership right after we got married. A few years ago, we decided to cancel it to try some outdoor exercises and save that money instead. This past summer, we were able to take our son to Disneyland, using just the money we’d saved by canceling the membership. He loved Toon Town, and he wasn’t the only one having fun. That vacation was the best I’ve had in almost ten years. And the best part was that it didn’t cost us any more than two years of gym membership.

More Possibilities

When you go to a gym, the types of exercises available to you are limited by the amenities the gym provides. But when you exercise outside, your options are broader, and the scenery is less drab, making for a more interesting workout session.

You can choose where you go and what you look at. You can choose what kind of exercise you want to do—whether you want to walk or run, ride a bike, or play tennis or basketball. You can even use different playground equipment for pull-ups and other strength-building exercises.

My brother enjoys mountain biking, and he’s invited me on a few of his trips into the Appalachians. I wouldn’t recommend such an extreme sport to everyone, but if you’re looking for an intense workout with some fantastic scenery, mountain biking is definitely a great choice, but if you keep your mind open, the outdoors provide many more exciting options than indoor gyms do.

Contrary to popular belief, you do not need a gym membership to work out, get fit, and stay fit. Even an in-home gym doesn’t give you the same benefits as the great outdoors. So what are you waiting for? Put away your wallet, and stop spending money on what you can get for free. Step out in the open air and start having a blast.


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Ed: Dana Gornall

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