Don’t get me wrong, gyms have taught me a lot about fitness but more about how people operate in these “fitness” environments. There is something so contradictory about going to a gym, to run on a treadmill, to increase cardio fitness and improve your mental attitude; when all you are really doing is running, whilst watching TV, on a belt that propels you faster than you are capable of actually running, whilst sweating up a storm with no air flow and a heap of noisy, clunky machines hum around you. This to me totally defies the reason why you would even go. However I shouldn’t be too harsh or narrow minded because sometimes it is people’s only option to run safely (e.g shift workers). Gyms do have a place in creating a fitness habit but guess what – you don’t need a gym to keep fit – you just need a little creativity and determination to make something out of what you have. The one thing that gyms try to do is fit in with your lifestyle, but no gym is ever going to offer you the ultimate class time, baby sitting service or friendly, comfortable environment. If you want one of those gyms then you have to look at the opportunities in your own life! Don’t leave exercise up to your “gym class timetable”. Create what you need within your own schedule and add a gym experience as a bonus (if you need/want it).
Personally gyms turn me off exercise in more ways than one, but this is not a whinge fest so I’ll move onto what turns me on! Outside exercise totally floats my boat! Which is super cool because that’s the best option when you are living in the middle of nowhere and have 74 000 acres to run around on, relatively un- harmed unless the snakes are out. If you have a choice then always opt for outside exercise. What I love about it is the changing surfaces (sand, rock, dirt, logs, water) challenge me to run, walk, ride, skip, jump and move in ways that make me feel a little like a kid again. There’s always something peaceful to look at and you could spot something unusual. It makes it fun, challenging and unlike when you are watching the treadmill time every second on those painful red digit screens, it actually makes your fitness time go so quick that you won’t even realize you’ve been moving!!
Here’s a list of the reasons why exercising outdoors is so beneficial. Fresh air is a big one! Breathing air that no one else has – count me in!
Health Assessment Quiz – Answer these 10 questions to see where you sit on the health wagon.
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