You started walking a while ago and your making progress, even though your spending quite a bit of time on the treadmill at the gym. But your racking up the miles and working on increasing the incline level so that you’re getting the max out of your exercise time. But sometimes you get the feeling that there’s more to getting fit by walking just using a treadmill every other day. And your right!
Now that the weather is finally cooperating, you can take a hiatus from the gym and head outdoors and get some fresh air while you’re putting the miles behind you as you walk your way fit. According to the Harvard Medical School, to elevate your exercise routine, head outside!
And if you think about it, this makes a lot of sense. After all, in a gym environment, your part of the "herd" pushing your body, either on treadmills, using free-weights, or just plain making the circuit of the available gym equipment. When using a treadmill, your muscles can be worked harder by increasing its speed or varying the speed within the 30-minute workout. Generally speaking, when walking on a treadmill with no incline, you may burn fewer calories than you do walking outdoors since the moving tread does some of the work for you.
Even compared with walking indoors, the habit of holding onto the handrails on a treadmill will further reduce the calories you burn. Plus, it will wreck your walking posture.
Walking outside has its biggest advantage in challenging your balance and stability with all of the small obstacles, dodges, starts, and stops. This will give you an advantage for distance walking as well as overall health as you age, along with maintaining your stabilizing muscles.
And keep in mind that many treadmills only go uphill or level, with fewer models having a downhill incline. Going downhill challenges muscles in a completely different way.
On the treadmill, the tread is moving, and you may not be giving yourself a good push off with your back foot. When walking at a brisk pace down a hill, you're giving your leg and core muscle groups a better workout than you would if you were on a treadmill going at the same pace.
Walking outdoors on a mountainous route is a fabulous full-body workout that burns significantly more calories than spending time at the gym, especially if you're new to exercising and don't have the stamina you need for running. ... In comparison, you'll only burn 106 calories walking on the treadmill at a moderate 3 miles per hour pace
For many people, summer's long days and warm weather make it a great time to exercise outdoors. And that just might be a great way to boost the rewards from your workout, says Dr. Edward Phillips, assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School. Walking or hiking in a natural area may benefit your heart more than working out indoors.
"When you're moving your body, your heart, lungs, and muscles don't know or care where you are. But your mind does," says Dr. Phillips. And if you're exercising outdoors in a beautiful natural setting, you might be tempted to go a little farther than if you set out to walk for just 30 minutes around your neighborhood, he notes. "Some people say it's hard to rack up 7,000 steps a day walking a familiar route. But they often find they can go twice as far on a hike, especially if there's a nice vista at the destination," he says. If you choose a trail that includes some hills, which will force your heart to work harder, that will also increase your fitness.
As far as hiking's other advantages go, consider this; Natural settings tend to be quieter, cooler, and have better air quality than urban areas. And a number of small studies hint that spending time in green space — nature preserves, woodlands, and even urban parks — may ease people's stress levels. Considering that stress contributes to high blood pressure and heart disease risk, anything you can do to counteract stress is likely to be helpful, says Dr. Phillips.
And when your walking outdoors, since you don’t have the electronics that are embedded in a treadmill, you need to monitor both the distance your taking, the pace, time its taking you to get there and the calories that your burning doing the whole process. Using an activity tracker that can do all of the above will keep you on track to go the distance each and every time. One such activity tracker is the Garmin Vívosport GPS Sport & Activity Tracker The Vívosport, Smart Activity Tracker with wrist-based heart rate and built-in GPS for mapping out your walk, has everything you need to keep you on track so that you know just how far your walking and how well you’re doing when you get to the end of your goal. This tracker also includes strength training and cardio activities tracking and will provide you with all the data you need to know just how well you’re doing on each and every walk you take. It's also safe for swimming and showering, the Vívosport is the perfect accessory for every day and for your active life.
So, as we said at the beginning, Taking A Walk Outdoors, Just Might Add More To Your Life Than Decreasing Your Waistline. Come on, what are you waiting for? Get outside and go ahead and wave at your friends as they watch you go by through their gyms window!