There are several reasons that outdoor training can be as good as or better than indoor training, offering less of a crowd than the gym and more space than at home. Nearly any workout that does not require heavy equipment can be done outside. Many outdoor training enthusiasts insist that the difficulty level increases when going from indoor machinery such as a treadmill or stationary bike to jogging or biking outside, providing a more intense workout. Many people, however, get stuck thinking that outdoor training is limited to biking and jogging. While these are definitely excellent exercises, one should not overlook other exercises that take advantage of the outside terrain, such as sprinting uphill, pushups and lunges on the incline or decline of a hill, and even swimming laps in an outdoor pool or pond.
Several fitness professionals claim that the caloric burn on a treadmill or stationary bike will be less than if the exercise was performed outside on uneven terrain that forces the muscles to work harder to maintain balance and adjust to bumps, dips, and turns in the path. Hills also add another level of difficulty, forcing the body to work harder to reach the top and providing a rewarding rest on the way down. Many outdoor trainers find that setting goals to sprint up hills and then jog or walk down can be a motivating way to do interval training. Most people find that outdoor training in the fresh air is much more invigorating than training in a stuffy gym, and often feel like working out harder and longer than when training inside. Also, outdoor training for sports, marathons, or other activities can help athletes become adjusted to pushing hard physically even in bright hot sunlight or cool rainy conditions.
Pushups, squats, and lunges can just as easily be done outside as they can inside. Using steep hills, trees, or even large rocks can also add an incline or decline element into the exercise. Inclines and declines, while making the exercise slightly harder or easier, also works different parts of the muscles or even different muscle groups entirely. Many people also enjoy climbing trees or doing pull-ups on strong tree branches. Chair dips, step-ups, and similar activities can all be performed on an empty park bench or picnic table, and can be a good way to supplement a jog or bike ride through the park.