Weight Loss Exercise – Indoor Vs. Outdoor, Which Is Better?

For those of us living in the northern parts of our country, Michigan in my case, this time of year brings on a special challenge that persons living further south don’t have to consider.  Yesterday alone we received 12 inches of new snow, and that’s on top of the 12 inches or so we already had.  I got my weight loss exercise in by just running the snow blower and shoveling the snow off my deck so it doesn’t collapse under the weight!

Between shoveling off my deck, snow blowing my driveway (twice during the storm), both of my neighbors driveways, and about 75 yards of our private drive to get to the neighbors, I burnt about 600 calories.  Plus I had already done my usual 15 minute workout on the weight machine and 30 minute run/walk prior to that for a grand total of 1237 calories burnt yesterday!  I could have eaten what ever I wanted yesterday and never went into the red!  But I didn’t…I still only ate about 1800 calories so it was a great day to gain on my progress of weight loss if nothing else.

So what’s the point of my rambling?  Two things actually.  One is to point out that you should and can take advantage of things you do other than your normal weight loss exercise routine to boost your calorie burning efforts.  The thing that I noticed the most about yesterday was the fact that I could do it without ever becoming over tired or exhausted as I would have last year at this time.  Heck let’s face it.  I “couldn’t have done it” last year at this time.  As time goes by, I find myself enjoying the exercise once “I’ve finished” as I feel exhilarated from it.  I am sore in places I’d forgotten about today, but I feel great.

The second item I wanted to discuss today is whether weight loss exercise is more effective if you do it “outside” than it is in the gym or your home?  I’m no expert in that area, but I’ve been doing some personal research on the subject and I have developed some opinions on the topic.  My answer is ultimately “no, but”…so why do I say that?

Calories burnt are calories burnt, so in the end it doesn’t really matter if you are exercising at your local gym, on the equipment you have in your own home, or outside.  There is so much talk about the best way to exercise, much in the same way there is a lot of talk about what the best diet is that I feel we can get caught up in the type of exercise we are doing vs. the amount of exercise we are doing.  Exercising to lose weight is just that and nothing more.  Whether you prefer a Pilate, or Yoga, or weight training, in the end doesn’t really matter as they “all” burn calories and “all” will help you loose weight.

I feel the same about exercise that I do about dieting.  In the end it doesn’t matter what you do so much as the fact that you are actually doing it and doing it regularly!  So where does the “no, but…” come in to the picture?  In my opinion and after much reading it has to do with the “efficiency” of the exercise.  Obviously each type of exercise whether it be low impact, high cardio, weight training, etc., each provides you with different results in the “efficiency” of your exercise and how long you will need to exercise to obtain the same amount of calories burnt to reach what ever goals you have set for yourself.

It comes down to the question of whether you wish to exercise for 45 minutes to burn 450 calories or do you want to accomplish it in 30?  That’s where the efficiency factor comes in.  Every method of exercise will help different parts of your body in a different way so you need to choose something that fits your particular goals.  The main key is to stay consistent with your exercise no matter what you prefer.  The goal is to burn calories and doing nothing results in nothing.  Get going on something now.  There’s no time like the present to leave the overweight you behind just “one pound ago”!

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