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One thing I never quite understood is why people go to the gym? Why pay for something when you can get that same exercise free outside doing yard work, or splitting firewood? I think the reason is that it seems easier, more convenient to exercise in a gym, sanitized, less work somehow.
I think gym exercise though really isn’t too healthy. I mean you’re in a hot sweaty gym, no fresh air really, not like what you can get outside, stale, sweaty gym equipment. Gym equipment that is often not very organic or that doesn’t provide natural motion or a natural surface feel (tread mill for example). Outside work is a lot more natural (obviously). It provides exercise to to a lot more parts of the body when doing work and you get fresh cool air (especially in this fall weather). It provides excellent varying terrain and infinite levels of difficulty. Plus the scenery is great, no need for surround sound and 3D visuals to make you feel like you’re outside, no this is the REAL thing.
Looking at data from 833 people and 11 different trials, researchers found that exercising outside melted away levels of tension, anger and depression. Participants also reported that they simply enjoyed exercising outdoors more than they did inside, and so there was more chance that they’d continue doing it.
Walking outside has its biggest advantage in challenging your balance and stability with all of the small obstacles, dodges, starts and stops. This will give you an advantage for distance walking as well as overall health as we age — maintaining our stabilizing muscles. Here is what you face walking outside vs. on a treadmill:
- Up and down curbs, steps, short stairways, and stepping over small obstacles. A little workout for your climbing muscles.
- Sloped sidewalks and road sides. A challenge to your balance muscles.
- Dodging people, puddles, and poodles. A challenge to move side-to-side as well as forward.
- Stops and starts at street crossings. A challenge to the muscles to come to a halt and to start from zero.
- Treadmills only go uphill or level, only very rare models have downhill incline. Going downhill challenges muscles in a completely different way.
- On the treadmill, the tread is moving and you may not be giving yourself a good push off with your back foot. Concentrate on doing this correctly on the treadmill.
You can google this stuff. I think its really all common sense.
Also, if you REALLY want to pay money for exercise, I invite you over to my place, I got brush to move, firewood to haul, roofs to shingle, earth to move etc. All manners of physical labour, I got it!
And I’ll only charge you HALF of what the gym membership costs! Plus free water and muffins (should there be any muffins in the oven when you’re here…)
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