Getting Outdoors


On one of my Facebook groups, a member stated that she never does cardio indoors. All her cardio is walking and hiking. It got me thinking about my cardio and what I have been doing since coming back to the gym.

Cardio was never really on my radar last year. I didn’t understand how important it really was, or maybe I did but didn’t want to do it. Now, I am embracing cardio as part of my daily routines. Sadly, when I have only a limited amount of time at the gym something has got to be cut. By adding cardio, I have found that my core exercises are now lacking. BUT… I need to do cardio.

Since coming back, I have upped my cardio to about 20-30 minutes each time I hit the gym. This could mean cycling or walking. It has lately been cycling. After the group member mentioned cardio and I looked at my cardio, I am thinking I need a change of some kind.

Last year, the limited cardio that I did was all outdoors and was all walking or hiking. I think I was happier with that cardio more than I am now. I was outside and wasn’t so bored. Now I sit on a stationary bike and pedal.

What’s great about indoor cardio is that it is cool. You can watch a video, movie, or television show while doing it and you can mindlessly pedal or walk without thinking. The downside to a treadmill is the set speed. Yes, I can make the belt go faster but I am so unsteady on the feet that I have to hold on, especially going at faster speeds. Walking outside, I can speed up and slow down based on terrain and how tired I am. On the treadmill, I am holding on so there is an automatic raise of my body that doesn’t have a full 218lbs of fat on my legs that I am trying to move. Outdoors, I am using my arms more, and naturally, my heart rate goes up.

Same with cycling. I can sit and pedal in the cool air but I don’t think it is the same workout as trying to pedal a bike and a 218lbs person. Even with resistance on the pedals, you don’t use your core as much and other parts of your body to turn corners, etc. Essentially, you can get a workout indoors but I think there is an inherent whole body workout when you move your body in a natural element than a controlled one.

Today, I took my cardio outside. I went to a city park and did six rounds of its trail. After the first round, I stopped to check how far the trail was. .43 miles for one round. Six rounds. 54 minutes. It didn’t seem to be as boring. There was the scenery, other people, wildlife. Much more stimulating than just moving my legs. I think I am gonna try to get more natural miles in on trails when I can. When my Facebook friend logged 800 miles last year in walking and hiking outdoors, it is pretty impressive. Logging 800 miles on a treadmill doesn’t have the same satisfaction.

Last year, I logged 65 outdoor miles. Let’s see if I can beat that number.