Is it better to work indoors or out doors? Find an environment that meets your expectations. After all, finding the right work-out place can be the key to a healthy body and mind!

Outdoor exercise

If working-out outdoors is a habit, you can get hooked. It can be exhilarating! Especially, if the weather is good and the location, scenic. Beautiful, open surroundings (if you are fortunate to have access to a beach or a lawn or have a mountain view) can be mood-altering and induce pleasure.

You need to bear in mind special weather conditions when working-out outdoors.

For instance, during summer do a longer cool-down session. A cool-down lowers the body's temperature, gradually. This prevents dizziness and extreme fatigue post-workouts. Suddenly stopping without cooling down can cause a rapid drop in blood pressure and light-headedness. The last 10 minutes of the work-out should be cool-down time. This allows the blood to return from the working muscles to the heart and for the body to return to its resting state.

In winter, focus on doing a longer warm-up session. It prepares the body for the activity to follow. Muscles perform better and are less prone to injury when they are warm. A warm-up can mean simply walking or marching for 10 minutes to raise the body's core temperature.

Tips to keep energy levels up when exercising outdoors:

* Drink water

* Water loss due to hot and humid weather conditions need to be replaced. Drink plenty of water before, after and during an exercise routine to prevent dehydration.

* Use eyewear or headbands if required

* Eyewear such as sun glasses are commonly used when training outdoors. They protect you from the sun, wind, reflections and glare.

* Head bands grip your hair so that you are comfortable while exercising. Good news! They come in cool, funky colours.

* Wear appropriate sports clothes

* What you choose to wear will depend on the climate and kind of activity you do. Sports clothing such as training vests, T-shirts, shorts and track pants provide you sufficient comfort and durability.

Indoor exercise

You may be impressed by the convenience of not being dependant on weather conditions. Or the wild throbbing music. Bright lights. A line-up of imported equipment. New-age workouts. Indoor facilities.

In the midst of all this, people swing by in tracksuits pumping sweat, aiming for the perfect well toned body! And you think, “I've found my perfect avenue for fitness”. You can assume nothing, so here are watch-out points to get that hazard-free fitness into your life.

Atmosphere

The atmosphere or ambience in an indoor-setting can motivate members to live healthy lifestyles. Does the facility offer a positive atmosphere encouraging health and well-being?

Amenities

Check if they have facilities you are looking for from equipment to air-conditioning or adequate ventilation.

Membership volume

Every gym or indoor workout facility has rush and slack hours. Find out if you are able to move around smoothly from one exercise machine to another without waiting endlessly.

Maintenance and hygiene

Well-maintained equipment is crucial for effective training. Fitness centres should actually use a disinfectant each time equipment is handled.

The concept of “comfort level” is central to working out. After a quick run-through of and outline of working out outdoors versus indoors, see what works for you… and give your final verdict.

The writer is a certified Clinical Exercise Specialist, Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist.

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