We could file this under the "we already knew this, but it's nice to have scientific data" category.
Researchers at the Université de Sherbrooke asked a group of participants to complete an hour-long cardio and weight training workout, three times per week. Half of the group sweated out their sessions in a gym, while the rest tackled the programme in the great outdoors. At the end of the 12-week-long experiment, the open-air group had missed fewer workouts than those confined within four walls, attending an impressive 97% of their training sessions.
Unlike members of the indoor group, who experienced a dip in motivation as the weeks rolled by, the green team remained raring to go throughout. The researchers found that they were also more active for the rest of the day than their gym-shackled counterparts and reported greater levels of tranquility, presumably because they didn’t have to wipe someone else’s sweat off the equipment before starting their run.
-Reprinted from MensHealth UK
But what about all that cool equipment at the gym? Well, it seems that's not enough to keep many people motivated to workout. And more exercise with less equipment is far better than less exercise with more equipment. The best workouts are they ones you actually do.
And besides, there are plenty of ways to add resistance to outdoor workouts. No sandbags or barbells? Find a boulder or rocks! No plyo box? Find a park bench. No lat pull-down machine? Try a playground pull-up instead.
And, of course, if you want to solve the outdoor resistance training challenge, you can simply wear it! After all, sometimes the perfect-sized boulder can be hard to find!