Benefits of working out: outdoors

Word on the street: Americans, approximately 24% of you, wish they exercised in the great outdoors more often. That percentage is in addition to the already 19% that crave the outdoors so much that they make an outdoor workout happen no matter what. (Thanks, Google Consumer Surveys, for curating those statistics!) So, my question is, “Why haven’t you signed up for Warrior Dash yet?”

Working out outdoors comes with a ton of benefits, especially if you’re looking to take your running program to the next level. Being a Midwestern girl myself, I understand the weather can be a bit intimidating during certain times of the year. However, now that spring has sprung, there’s no excuse not to get outdoors and target those muscle groups you’ve been neglecting on the treadmill.

I caught up with a few fun facts from a New York Times article published in 2013, highlighting some of those benefits:

  • Runners flex their ankles more when they run outside, as it is difficult to simulate a downhill trajectory on the average treadmill. More muscles flexing = more muscles engaged = better total body workout.
  • Treadmill runners expend less energy than runners that face wind resistance and varied terrain, even if it’s just the street pavement.
  • Fresh air and good ol’ Vitamin D! Being outdoors increases all of those good feelings like vitality and self-esteem, while simultaneously lowering levels of cortisol (the stress hormone), depression, and fatigue.
  • Outdoor exercisers are more likely to stick to workout regimens, period.

So, if you’re considering Warrior Dash, think of it this way: Once you sign up, you’ll want to start training outdoors. Once you start training outdoors, you’ll want to keep exercising, which will improve your overall mood and lifestyle. Seems like a good life choice to me.


See you on the Battleground,


Warrior Dash Race Director