Gym vs. Outdoor Activities: Which One Should You Choose?

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There is no doubt about the wonders that exercise can do to one’s body. It can improve your muscular strength, heart function, endurance, mood, and just your overall health.

In addition, it helps maintain the balance that your body needs so you can carry on with your everyday tasks with a clear mind and healthy body. So deciding whether to exercise or not is already out of the question. What’s confusing, however, is where you can do it: should you do it in the gym or allow yourself to engage in outdoor activities? 

Guy is running on the treadmill in the gym

The first thing you need to do to know is to figure out the strengths and weaknesses of each form of exercise. We listed down the possible pros and cons of those two things so you can decide which will work best for your lifestyle.

Working out at the Gym

Unfortunately, not many people, especially those in urban areas – have time to go hiking or cycling with their busy schedules. Because of people’s busy lifestyles, gyms were built to make exercising more efficient. When you sign up for a gym membership, you will have access to different gym equipment like treadmills, lots of weight equipment, benches, and more.

PROS of Going to the Gym:

1. It’s easier to target specific body parts with the use of gym equipment.

Suppose you have specific fitness goals like forming those six-pack abs or growing your glutes. In that case, it’s a lot easier to achieve your dream physique when you are in the gym because of the presence of specific machines and equipment that train certain parts of the body with proper form, diet, and discipline.

However, if you want to focus on training specific body parts, then you can easily do this by regularly coming to the gym.

2. You can stick to programs easily.

Well, this may be a little tricky, so, when depending on someone’s motivation to exercise. But assuming you already have enough reason to head to the gym, it would be easier to stick to a routine because you will already have everything that you need there. Gyms also always have personal trainers on standby. You always have access to professionals who know how to help you when you are just starting your training. Plus, there is a slight pressure of sticking to it because you paid for it.

3. You can sign up for group training/classes.

If you are the type of person who enjoys activities better in groups, gyms may be the best option. Some gyms offer special training classes for people who want to amp up their exercises. Plus, it’s an excellent way to meet new people – if you are after that.

4. You know what to expect.

Gyms are typically placed indoors, which makes it a controlled environment. That means that its interior is specifically designed to make you want to train even more. The temperature is controlled there, and you won’t worry about the weather because it won’t affect your exercise.

CONS of Going to the Gym:

1. It can get costly.

Gyms can cost an average of $40 to $50 a month. If you are going to ask us, that’s already a lot of money! When totaled, you will be paying an average of $600 a year. Not to mention that you sometimes pay extra for personal trainers. If you are more on the thrifty side, this may not be for you. If you pay that much money, you need to make sure to stick to your programs!

2. It can get boring and monotonous over time.

Of course, you will be switching up exercises every once in a while. But some people are just bored seeing the same place regularly and doing the same things over and over again. If you crave scenery or a new environment to enjoy while getting that calorie burn, then gyms may eventually get too dull for your own liking. 

Exercising Outdoors

Girl is running in the mountains

Outdoor activities can sound so exciting because it provides so much variety. It includes activities as simple as a short jog to more strenuous activities like hiking and cycling through rugged and challenging terrains or working out in an outdoor gym, if you are lucky to have one nearby.

If you have the privilege of time to do these things, then why not? Exercise is always a good idea, let alone do it while enjoying nature.

PROS of Doing Outdoor Activities

1. You can spend time with nature.

This is pretty much the highlight of doing outdoor exercises. You have the chance to simply breathe in the scents of the morning dew and the flowers. You have the liberty of where you can go for the day. whatever scenery you are in the mood for, you will never get bored of any outdoor activity that you will choose.

You can go for a walk, run, or even bike around town. One of the best forms of workout you can have is cycling. All you need is a properly working bicycle or perhaps a new electric bike. It does not demand too much of your time and energy, and it’s also eco-friendly.

Mainly an aerobic activity, cycling, especially with an electric bike, gives your heart, lungs, and blood vessels a proper workout.

If you’re unfamiliar with electric bikes and how they work, you can visit Electric Bike Paradise for all your e-bike queries.

2. It can be free

“Free” doesn’t necessarily apply all the time because some places require minimum entrance fees, or you will need to fill up your gas to get to these beautiful places. But compared to a gym membership, you are indeed getting the most of your exercise with little to no fees. There are many places out there that won’t require you to pay anything, so better find the best spots in your own town. 

3. It gives you free vitamin D

We all know that we need vitamin D to keep our bones and muscles healthy. And what better way to obtain it than spend time under the sun! Honestly, there’s a lot of freebies if you only get them from nature.

4. You can burn more calories

People say that outdoor activities tend to push you further in your exercises because you are up against outdoor elements, which force your body to work even more. Take biking, for example. As you bike through those rocky terrains, you tend to exert more effort in pedaling – or else, you won’t get anywhere you intend to go. Sometimes the wind blows extra intricately, which makes you want to power through. There could be hundreds of things that you may encounter in doing outdoor exercises, and the best part is – you have no choice but to get through it.

CONS of Doing Outdoor Activities?

1. You can’t control the environment outside.

Unlike the gym, you won’t have a roof over your head to protect you from droplets of rainfall. You can’t just ask to blast the aircon when it’s too hot outside because you are outside. This factor in outdoor activities can make it a little more challenging to plan your outdoor exercises. But don’t worry, that’s what local weather reports are for.

2. More sun exposure. 

A guy is pouring water on himself after exercising in the sun

This one can be a pro or a con depending on the context. Naturally, you will need a good dose of Vitamin D from sufficient sun exposure. However, too much sun exposure can give you problems you wouldn’t want to deal with – one of the worst things you can get from too much sun exposure is skin cancer. For less intense (yet still enough to bum you out) is premature aging and sunburn from too much UV exposure. The good news is, this is preventable by slathering a good quality sunscreen on your face and body. 

We hope we gave you adequate information on whether to head outside or stay indoors when working out. Nevertheless, always remember to choose one that best suits your lifestyle and that makes you feel safe. Good luck and stay healthy!

About the author:

Trevor Fenner is the founder and owner of Electric Bike Paradise, a one-stop-shop for all your electric bicycle needs. He has been selling bicycles, electric bikes, and electric scooters online since 2010 and eventually established Electric Bike Paradise in late 2013 when he happened to meet a seller from Craiglist that introduced him to electric bikes.

Ever since Trevor spent time searching for electric bikes online but couldn’t find a single website that offers a wide selection of bikes and informational articles. That is why he decided to start a website where everyone can shop conveniently, browse buying guides, and read educational posts. The website is called Electric Bike Paradise.