Indoor vs. Outdoor Exercise

Outdoor exercise is the reason many people visit and live in the Elk Valley. With the wonderful mountain views and variety of outdoor activities, it seems like a given that most people would switch their exercise regime outdoors during the summer months. However, indoor exercise is an easy way to maintain your fitness program and prevent any sabotages such as weather or injury. Also, indoor exercisers are able to maintain a balanced body whereas outdoor exercisers tend to do mostly cardio and forget their injury prevention strength training exercises. So, which is better?

For the outdoor exercisers, planning can be involved as you may need partners or equipment for your activities. Try to give yourself variety to prevent injuries. For example, plan a hike one day, mountain bike the next, and maybe a swim or river trip for your third day. Should the weather flip on you, take the opportunity to go to the gym or do a home strength routine so you can get the benefits of a strength program and prevent injury. Ideally, you would incorporate some sort of resistance training twice weekly in addition to your outdoor pursuits. Make sure you dress for the weather, stay hydrated, and are cautious on your terrain!

If you need a strict routine or have injuries, an indoor exercise program may be best for you. The stable air conditioned environment of a gym does not allow for any excuses. Try to choose the same time of day to exercise so you maintain your routine and keep things easy for yourself to stay on track. However, give your routine some change by incorporating some outdoor activities as a bonus to your indoor routine. This variety will not only improve your enthusiasm for exercise but will work your muscles in different ways, and of course remind you what a fantastic part of the world we live in. Indoor exercise is usually easier on the joints, so it may be better for those newer to exercise or who have injuries. When you are ready to transition outdoors, take it slowly and enjoy yourself! Set small attainable goals and get a guide if you are unsure of your terrain or activity.

The answer: both are good, it all depends on your needs. Ultimately, the best solution is to mix it up. Be flexible with your schedule as to what activity you do, but try to establish a schedule so you are exercising consistently. We all know that physical activity is an important factor in enjoying a healthy life, so be sure to figure out what works for you, weather it is indoor or outdoor, and keep yourself healthy, happy, and active! Enjoy the rest of your summer!