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I’m always surprised to learn how many RVers actually do their workouts in gyms when they travel. I’ll admit it, even James and I hit the gym sometimes when on the road. I think it has something to do with the familiarity of it. See those dumbbells over there, lift them up. That cable machine, pull the bar down. We don’t really have to think too hard. The equipment makes it simpler. While it’s great we get our workouts in at all on the road, it doesn’t always have to be at the gym. We could simply open up that RV door and let nature be our training ground! Same goes for all you gym junkies out there as well, whether you are travelers or not. Here are 6 reasons you should ditch the stale air of your dreary gym and take your exercise outdoors.
Avoid The Crowds:
When you hit the gym, you have very little say in your company. Chances are your workout will take place in the midst of a bunch of other shortsighted souls who chose the humdrum gym over the great outdoors. You’ll be forced to wait for machines and will inevitably be stuck with the attention-starved grunters to your left and the cell-phone chatting soccer mom on your right. But hey, at least that rap music blaring all around you drowns them out. WHAT?! I CAN’T HEAR YOU!
And I’m not just talking about the money you’ll save, because we all know how costly gyms can get. You’ll also save time: your workout can start the minute you leave your front door! You’ll save gas: no driving to the gym! You’ll save Mother Earth: no electricity needed to power your workout! Take that, Carbon Footprint!
When you ditch the four walls, you’re left with all sorts of distractions. Perhaps you’ve got other passersby so you can amuse yourself with some serious people-judging, or perhaps you’ve got wildlife to spot…or maybe you’ve got sirens blaring and road traffic. Whatever your outdoor environment, the ever-changing scenery will pull your attention away from the workout and make the time go faster. Staring at the sweaty back of the guy on the treadmill in front of you gets old really quickly.
I’ve already written about the benefits of sunlight recently, so I’ll keep this one brief. Our best source of Vitamin D is from exposure to the sun. When sunshine hits your skin, a natural process occurs that leads to the creation and activation of Vitamin D. Taking our workouts outside gives our bodies the opportunity to absorb some of the fabulous sunshine that we need to get our Vitamin D the way nature intended. Sunlight also helps set your circadian clock, which helps us sleep better. You don’t get that when your workout is inside.
Gyms can be breeding grounds for bacteria and germs. Sure, there are germs outside, too, but a study by the EPA found that indoor air is two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. Stinky sweaty gyms are far from the meccas of health we assume them to be. It’s tough to keep any gym sanitary with so many different people coming in and out touching the same buttons and weights with their moist germy hands. When you exercise outside, you aren’t exposed to such concentrated levels of germs. And suddenly, I feel a strong urge to go wash my hands.
Burn More Calories:
When you add in elements like wind, temperature, uneven terrain, and hills, the body has to work harder to regulate itself. And how does the body regulate itself? By burning up extra calories. If you’re trying to lose weight, this is a big BONUS!
So now what are you waiting for, your gym to open up?!? Open your front door (or your RV door, or your hotel door, or your tent flap) and let the world be your workout!!!