Indoor fitness goes with outdoor fitness, survey finds

Getting fit and healthy doing indoor exercise goes hand-in-hand with getting fit using outdoor activities, a recent Harris Interactive Survey has found. A majority of those surveyed (79 percent) said a combination of indoor and outdoor exercise is the best way to go, while only 4 percent said they relied on indoor exercise alone.
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Getting fit and healthy doing indoor exercise goes hand-in-hand with getting fit using outdoor activities, a recent Harris Interactive Survey has found.

A majority of those surveyed (79 percent) said a combination of indoor and outdoor exercise is the best way to go, while only 4 percent said they relied on indoor exercise alone. In comparison, 14 percent said they relied solely on outdoor activities to remain in shape. The survey was sponsored by the W.L. Gore company, makers of Gore-Tex waterproof/breathable fabric.

Nearly three of four respondents (71 percent of all men and women over the age of 18) reported in the survey that running/walking on an indoor treadmill was second only to outdoor running/walking. Interestingly, slightly higher percentages of those running/walking indoors were found among the 18 to 34 and 35 to 44 age groups of both genders, while the highest number of indoor runner/walkers was women who were 18 to 34 (81 percent).

Specifically, respondents were asked, "Which of the following physical activities do you consider effective ways to stay fit and healthy?" The use of home or health club exercise equipment (stair climbers, gyms, etc.) was ranked fourth at 66 percent; aerobics was fifth at 65 percent of respondents; and climbing/hiking walked into sixth place with 50 percent of total respondents. Of the top five activities chosen, three were indoors and two were outdoors.

Those choosing gym or home exercise equipment skewed toward the younger side (74 percent of those 18 to 21 and progressing downward to 59 percent of those 55 or older). More women, however, checked off aerobics (including step and other group exercise classes) with 79 percent of those 18 to 34 saying it was an effective way to stay fit, while only 60 percent of men of the same age group said it was an effective way.

Only 38 percent named yoga as an effective method, while only 29 percent opted for Pilates. Fifty percent more woman said the same for yoga compared to men (45 percent compared to 30 percent of all ages responding). Of Pilates followers, 21 percent of all men said it was effective, while 35 percent of women called it that.

To the question about whether indoor exercise, outdoor exercise or a combination of the two was more effective, a significantly higher number of women of all ages said a combination was the best (83 percent compared to 75 percent of men of all ages). Also, perhaps contradictory to a stereotypical belief, women as they got older opted increasingly more for both indoor and outdoor as "the most effective way to stay fit and healthy" (reaching 85 percent for those 55 and older), while men were less inclined for a combination (dropping to 71 percent for those 55 and older).

SNEWS View: Neither outdoor nor indoor fitness activities can raise a fist in victory since a majority of respondents in this survey voted for both. That's the clear message all the way around: To keep fit and healthy (and perhaps that means mentally too) doing a little bit of several things, both indoor and out, could be the best way to stay in shape and to stay motivated. We think that means that both outdoor-focused companies and indoor-centric companies should also be advocates for the public's participation in the opposite activity. You see, if someone stays fit, they're more likely to do both regularly, stay healthy, and help both industries thrive

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