Hate Cardio? Make This Small Tweak to Your Routine

A change in setting can make all the difference

Christa Sgobba |

Dreading your cardio? You might want to take it outdoors. Swapping your treadmill session with an outdoor walk can make you enjoy it more—and persuade you to keep up with it, a new study in the Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology suggests.

In the study, researchers recruited 38 obese people to complete two exercise conditions: In one, they walked on a treadmill for 30 minutes. In the other, they walked outdoors for the same amount of time.

Related: Never Do These 5 Things Before a Run

The physical responses—like heart rate and V02 max, or the amount of oxygen your body needs to keep up with your workout—were similar whether the participants were walking on the treadmill or outdoors.

But when they exercised outside, they reported a more pleasant mood. And even though they walked faster and covered more distance outside, they reported feeling less exertion than when they walked indoors—meaning they didn’t feel like they were working as hard. They also reported a greater desire to complete the workout again in the future.

Related: The Weekly Training Regime That Got This Celebrity In Top Shape

Outdoor walking is flat-out less tedious than slogging away on the treadmill—external factors like the weather, birds, and sounds could help distract you from the draining effects of exercise, like feeling tired or bored, the researchers believe.

Now, the study was performed on obese women, so it’s not clear yet whether the same effects would hold true for guys, or for people doing more intense cardio—think jogging or running instead of walking.

Related: How To Make Yourself Love Exercise

But if you’re finding yourself dreading your cardio days, it can’t hurt to take some time away from the gym and bring your workout outside instead. Here are 3 outdoor workouts that are better than running.

Originally published on menshealth.com

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