Study Confirms the Rewards of Outdoor Exercise

Exploring Intensity

Study Confirms the Rewards of Outdoor Exercise

If you needed any more evidence that a hike in the mountains is more exhilarating than a run on the treadmill, this study actually did that to see exactly how much better getting out and getting fit is for you on multiple levels.

Austrian researchers took 42 people and had them try three different activities: hiking up a mountain, using a treadmill with an incline or just lounging around at home. Here is what happened, according to this article:

Scientists used surveys to evaluate calmness, elation, valence (wellness), activation, fatigue, and anxiety… The hiking group showed increased levels in almost every category except fatigue and anxiety when compared the sedentary group, and greater arousal and lower fatigue compared to the treadmill walkers.

The conclusions the scientists came to are the same ones you may have guessed — being outside is simply an awesome way to exercise. It certainly crushes zoning out to the same computer screen in front of you at the gym.

It’s too bad the researchers did not study interval training vs an outdoor run or hike up a mountain. We imagine that the health benefits of HIIT are greater than a hike outdoors. Of course we do. But we encourage all Cardio High clients to add variety to their exercise, and we hope clients are spending their summer days enjoying the outdoors. The are excellent outdoor gyms in Newton. Try the loop in Cold Spring Park, a run mixed with intervals at The Auburndale Cove or a swim at Crystal Lake.

-Shane M.