Benefits of Exercising Outdoors Instead of at Gym

If you don't feel like working out at the gym, a physician shares other ways to stay active outdoors.

working out outdoors

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CLEVELAND – If you are looking to get in shape this summer but don’t want to work out at the gym, you may want to consider exercising outside instead.

It offers all the same health benefits – plus it’s free!

“I love working out outside because you get a lot of variety. There are a lot of different things you can do,” said Marie Schaefer, MD, sports medicine physician for Cleveland Clinic. “You can be creative, it feels more fun, like you’re playing as opposed to working out.”

Dr. Schaefer said there are plenty of roads and trails where people can go biking, running and walking.

Some parks also have free exercise equipment you can use, too.

If those activities do not sound enjoyable, you can also play a sport, like basketball or softball.

Of course, just like going to the gym, it’s important to prepare your body.

Dr. Schaefer recommends stretching out beforehand and not pushing yourself too hard if you haven’t exercised in a while.

It’s also important to wear sunscreen and stay hydrated.

“Especially on breezy days, your sweat dries quickly, and you may not realize how thirsty you are until afterward. So, make sure to stay hydrated throughout the process,” she advised.

If you have trouble sticking with exercise, Dr. Schaefer suggests finding a workout buddy to help hold you accountable.

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