Staying Active: Treadmills to Trails

By Chelsea Gayden

The sun is shining, pools are open, and people are firing up their grills. Summer has arrived in full force. Many are headed to the gym to achieve or maintain their health and fitness, but it’s time to take advantage of the nice weather and get moving outside.

Really Move

“Indoor aerobic activity is a great way to hate exercise,” says American Council on Exercise certified fitness trainer Jeff Archibald. “The amount of effort and enthusiasm working out inside is 50 percent less than it is when you are outdoors.”

Unlike exercising indoors, your workout can takes you places. With indoor exercise equipment, you are limited to repetitive motions in one spot. You are moving, but you are not going anywhere. When you lift your leg, you put it right down in the same place, on the same surface. But traveling several miles outdoors encompasses many different surfaces, levels of wind resistance, and scenery.

The results from using a treadmill are hardly comparable to those of physically propelling your body forward on a running trail. Outside, a runner is provided with a variety of surfaces and conditions. Adjusting to these conditions is an experience that a treadmill does not provide. You receive a functional workout with variety of movements that strengthen your body.

Experience the Energy

Using indoor equipment does not provide the same energy as a workout outdoors. Instead of watching each minute pass by on the equipment’s digital display, get out and enjoy your exercise experience.

Throughout Archibald’s 25 years of experience, he has worked with many who appreciate the addictive aspects of outdoor workouts. “Once you start exercising outside, you want to do it as often as possible. Athletes I’ve trained outdoors find it impossible to go back indoors to train unless it is absolutely necessary,” said Archibald. “There is no going back.”

“You cannot substitute the spiritual experience of being outside. It relaxes you. Go to the mountains, to the park, or just exercise around the neighborhood,” said Archibald. Feel the wind resistance. Soak up the sun and take in that vitamin D (with proper skin protection of course). Give yourself a much-needed change of scenery. There are some things you just can’t get at the gym.

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Categories: Your Fitness

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