From time to time, we probably all reflect on our lifestyles and ponder just how to get healthy!
For some its regular visits to the Gym, while for others it might be a review of diets, vices or other forms of exercise. Let’s take, for example, brisk walking outdoors. This is exercise that can be taken up by someone of any age – with, of course, the blessing of their G.P. Being out in the fresh air can help to take the mind off things, burn off calories and help body to tone up.
Meanwhile, regular visits to the Gym can also take the mind off things, boost confidence and also help the body to tone up. So, what’s best? Below are some pointers that may help:
Advantages of walking outdoors:
- Brisk walking promotes a healthy heart and is good cardio exercise
- Anyone of any age can take it up
- Helps reduce stress and anxiety/increases alertness
- Increases level of good cholesterol (HDL)
- Helps to lose weight and tone the body up
- Being outdoors increases intake of necessary Vitamin D
- Lowers levels of bad cholesterol (LDL)
- Burns calories, helps to promote happiness and well-being
- Can be fun! (Perhaps with friends, family or doggies)
- Can help prevent high blood pressure
- Offers volumes of clean fresh air, healthy smells and wonderful views
- Gives time to think happy thoughts and helps with relaxation
- Cleanses lungs!
Advantages of the Gym:
- Lose weight, tone up and (for some) build up muscles
- Can boost self confidence
- Promotes a healthy heart
- Is good for “blood flow” through the body
- Opportunity to meet people/make friends
- Can be a stress release, via chemical production in the body
- Can promote a feeling of well-being
- Can be motivating and useful for channelling excessive energy
- Is good for helping to get a good night’s sleep
It’s interesting that the “Walking for Health” programme reports “walking is a free, low-impact activity that requires no special training or equipment”. That said, it is of course very important to ensure that the right footwear is worn to avoid blisters or injury. Also, the right choice of walking socks and other items such as jackets or fleeces, can all help to make sure your time out and about is enjoyable.
For those who frequent the Gym, whilst obviously all the equipment needed is readily available often visitors choose to invest in the right togs so that they feel comfortable – and perhaps stylish- when exercising.
Are there any downsides when we consider how to get healthy?
There are some experts who suggest that regular outdoor walking, when done INCORRECTLY, can place strain on joints perhaps leading to damage later on. To avoid this, it is advised that a warm up exercise should be undertaken prior to the start of the walk and a cool down exercise immediately afterwords. Further, it helps to avoid too much walking, in one go, on hard surfaces such as concrete or tarmac. Again, wearing a good quality pair of walking shoes that offer arch support is important (certainly always avoid ill-fitting shoes) and a good pair of socks that guarantee blister-free walking, can only be a good thing too! For example the 1000miles blister free socks guarantee blister free walking or your money back!
With regard to the Gym, some downsides can be procrastination, staying focused and motivated and, often finding time to fit regular visits in to an already busy schedule, Naturally, fees (unless easy to cancel) can be a problem for Gym-goers who, for whatever reason, decide to stop their visits. Additional problems maybe health concerns if germs and bacteria breed in a sweaty and warm atmosphere and possibly feeling inadequate when exercising alongside other perfectly toned bodies!
So, there obviously is a lot of consider when debating whether visiting the Gym or walking out in the fresh air is best. Hopefully the points made above will at least offer an opportunity to think things through, before deciding which route to take!
Fresh air or the Gym, the main thing is to be focused on how to get healthy!