Spring has finally sprung, and it’s time to embrace the season as an opportunity to get the best of both exercise worlds by integrating indoor and outdoor fitness activities. Spring is the perfect time of year to introduce some cross-training into your routine, enhance your fitness levels and improve both your mental and your physical health and well-being. While you are indoors, you have the advantage of working out in a controlled setting, with fewer chances of accidental injury; alternatively, when you are outdoors, your environment is less controlled, forcing you to stimulate your mental and physical acuity and perform at a higher level.
Indoor vs. Outdoor Fitness Routines
Varying your workouts allows you to use different muscle groups. It also improves your body’s proprioception – the body’s ability to use balance and agility in different circumstances. For example, hiking on a rocky or winding trail will force your muscles to respond differently and improve your balance, reflexes and agility. There are some benefits to maintaining an indoor workout and utilizing that in-home Jim year-round:
- Safety is one of the key benefits that your home fitness equipment offers. If the whether conditions, darkness or the surroundings pose a safety issue, using the treadmill, exercise bike or elliptical may be the best solution.
- Consistency of your workout can be another consideration. If conditions outdoors don’t let you run at the pace you need, your indoor equipment definitely provides the ability to control your exertion level.
- Another benefit to in your exercise? If you are participating in a race or fitness eventof any kind, you can simulate conditions right in your home.
Treadmill Running vs. Outdoor Running
As the warm weather approaches we naturally want to spend more time outside…particularly in the Northeast where the winters are long and cold. When it comes to running outdoors, everyone is different. Some runners have no trouble braving the elements, whether it be rain, snow, heat or cold. Some runners only get the most benefits when the conditions are optimal for them. Learn what your comfort zone is, and build your schedule around it.
The benefit of having a treadmill in your home is that it allows you to maintain your fitness routine and never miss a beat.There’s no benefit to running in adverse conditions that can cause injury or accidents.Take advantage of the beautiful weather as often as you can, but keep in mind what your fitness goals are and do what you have to do to meet them.
Indoor vs. Outdoor Cycling
It’s pretty obvious that indoor and outdoor cycling offer two totally different experiences. Nothing can compare with taking a bike ride where you can burn calories, feel great, and enjoy some awesome scenery along the way. If you are a recreational cycler, it can be difficult to reach the level of heart rate on an outdoor bike that you can on an indoor bicycle. If time, weather, or safety are factors, indoor cycling is easy, provides a great workout, and if you have an exercise bike at home, you can get the cardio workout you need.
Indoor Versus Outdoor Fitness and Exercise
There is no question that outdoor fitness and exercise can be incredibly beneficial to your health, providing physical, social and emotional benefits. Exploring new areas, taking on new challenges, and simply experiencing the joy of outdoor activity cannot be replaced. Having fitness equipment in your home gives you an opportunity work out on a schedule that supplements your fitness goals with combined cardio and strength training; because it’s in a in a controlled setting, you can also change up your routine.
We all know that too much of the same training routine can result in overuse injury, and it’s beneficial to vary your training routines. If you own a treadmill that you use regularly, it may be time to check the tires on your bicycle and get back in the saddle. If you have an elliptical trainer or a recumbent bike, you can schedule one or two days a week for a jog, a run or even a hike.
An Integrated Workout
Weight training can also easily be transferred to an outdoor setting. Maybe the sun porch that’s been closed all winter long can become your new free weight room. You can also add an outdoor Tai Chi or Yoga component to your weight training. Why not grab that yoga mat and take your downward dog outdoors? Chances are, it will change your entire outlook on the stretching and cool-down component of your training regimen. And, you’ll get the additional benefits of the vitamin D the sun supplies in abundance.
Finally, the best thing about owning indoor training equipment is that you have an instant built-in option on days when spring showers ruin your outdoor plan. Integrating your indoor and outdoor training offers mental stimulation and an enhanced feeling of well-being that results in boosting those endorphins when you’re outdoors. With great indoor equipment, you can still get in a great morning or evening workout and keep on track to achieve your fitness goals.
If you have questions about integrating your indoor and outdoor fitness activities, or want to know what indoor equipment will work best for you, contact the fitness experts at Concepts in Fitness at either of their store locations in Albany or Saratoga Springs, or call 518-587-7072. Whatever your fitness goals, experience or budget, Concepts in Fitness has what you need to maximize your exercise in the comfort in privacy of your home.