Why Exercise Outdoors Year-Round?
Exercise is great for your body and mind. But there’s no question that if you're doing it outdoors, sometimes extreme temps can derail your plan. Or, at the very least, inclement weather can make outdoor exercise seem like something you’d prefer to avoid.
If you’re lucky enough to have four seasons where you live, then exercising in the spring and fall are usually the most desirable and likely times to do it outdoors. Fifty to 80° temperatures seem like the ideal reason to get up, get out there, breathe the fresh air and get your body moving.
That said, staying fit year-round means exercising year-round. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains that we should exercise for a half an hour a day for 5 days a week, minimum. Of course, as much as we would like the fine print to read “in favorable weather only,” we know that to stay healthy we’ve got to keep up with exercise year-round.
So what's wrong with indoor exercise?
Well, nothing at all if it suits you. There are plenty of opportunities to move your body indoors such as getting a gym membership and actually going, purchasing exercise equipment that will let you burn calories and get fit in your own home, or taking a class like Zumba or karate indoors.
However, exercising indoors also means breathing that recycled air from vents – air conditioned or heated air, depending on the time of year. A lot of us can feel pretty wiped out, huffing and puffing away on our cardio machines, inhaling air from the ceiling vents which may contain dust and mold particles as well as other potential irritants.
For that reason alone, outdoor exercise holds its appeal –and quite frankly once you get into it, there is nothing quite like it.
Another reason many people prefer to exercise outdoors: the sense of peace and freedom.
Being at the gym, working out in the company of other, fitness-minded folks can be fun. So can hopping on the elliptical or doing a zoom from the comfort of your basement or rec room at home. But if outdoor exercise feels like a great escape and needed alone time for you, then by all means keep it up even in those extreme weather seasons.