SANTA BARBARA, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 04/03/13 -- Ann Tatum, owner of Outdoor Adventures with Ann, is lending her support to new information that supports participation in outdoor exercise. A recent New York Times article cites the benefits of such activities, including better posture and a more effective workout, as well as other perks, for those who skip the gym in favor of working out in nature.
While many individuals find comfort in the climate controlled atmosphere and steady hum of machines that are found at gyms across the country, new research illustrates that a person may benefit when they skip their local health club in favor of a workout outdoors. There are perks to outdoor exercise that simply cannot get simulated when a person completes a workout on a treadmill or stationary bike.
Studies show that individuals run differently when they do so outdoors as opposed to on a treadmill or a track. Runners flex their ankles more when they pound the pavement outside. They also participate in a more varied workout than they would on a steady, flat treadmill. This includes conquering hills. Due to this variation in terrain, outdoor exercise generally provides a more strenuous workout than the kind a person receives when they head to the gym.
In a study that compares the exertion of running on a treadmill to that needed to run outside, treadmill runners put forth less energy in order to cover the same distance as those who were running outside. This is mostly because indoor exercisers can avoid dealing with wind resistance and changes in terrain. Even subtle gusts of wind or hills that are barely noticeable can impact the difficulty of a person's workout.
The benefits of outdoor exercise do not end with a greater physical challenge, however. Volunteers who were asked to go for two equal walks, one indoor and one outdoors, reported enjoying their outside activity more. In addition, they also scored significantly higher on tests that took note of the individual's levels of enthusiasm, pleasure, and self-esteem. They were also found to have lower tension levels when they worked out in nature.
Ann Tatum comments on these findings stating, "I've always stood by the benefits of outdoor exercise, and this study just furthers that belief. Not only do outdoor workouts challenge the body more, but they also provide significant mood lifting perks. This is especially useful for those who may be dealing with stress or anxiety in their daily lives."
A study of older adults conducted in 2012 also found that those who exercised outside were able to work out longer than those who engaged in exercise at a gym. The study's researchers had men and women who were 66 years of age or older keep track of their exercise habits. They also fitted these individuals with electronics that measured their activity levels during the course of a week. The results illustrated that the participants who worked out outside, generally by walking, were significantly more physically active than those who chose to exercise indoors. On average, they completed an additional half hour of exercise each week.
Ann Tatum notes that these findings should further encourage individuals to take advantage of warmer temperatures that come with spring, in order to get a more challenging workout that benefits both mind and body.
Ann Tatum is the owner of Outdoor Adventures with Ann, a group that offers locals and tourists the ability to get up close and personal with the natural beauty that Santa Barbara, California, has to offer. Clients can enjoy kayaking, parasailing, horseback riding, hiking, and a multitude of other activities, knowing that a well-trained guide will help to ensure safety.
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