I have been in a dilemma, whether to opt for gymming or to go out to play some sports in my free time. Both seem to be potential components to improve your health. But which one must one prefer over the other?

My opinions: In Outdoor sports you get to do whatever you want, however you want and you are always out there on the ground/field connected to nature..

On the other hand, in Gym you follow the same set of repetitions in a closed compact (mostly) place in an AC room and plus if you just break off from going to gym for few days you feel tired and stuffs like that. Whereas in outdoor sports one plays to his/her limit everyday, continues the same the other day with new enthusiasm.

This is to ask that which would be a better options if one has to choose between Outdoor sports and gymming, basically for staying fit and building stamina.

  • Have a huge doubt that this would be closed as opinion based. I'll still answer. It might help someone. Commented Apr 26, 2018 at 5:07
  • Any suggestions by which I can edit the answer?@Ricketyship
    – user377340
    Commented Apr 26, 2018 at 5:10
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    Seems good to me. Commented Apr 26, 2018 at 5:28
  • 1
    @OddDeer yes, even I feel that this could be helpful for anyone wanting to participate in outdoors activities. Commented Apr 26, 2018 at 6:15
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    @Sue You got the point Sue! Theres a reason why I never mentioned to keep this question. But I think, given the argument we must allow the users to share there expertise views which would in turn help others in need of help in this aspect. Anyway, Its upto the community to see if the questions asked on the site would be helpful or not and not only if they are opinion/fact based questions. Obviously the methodology must be followed, but with due considerations of providing the best to the site :))
    – user377340
    Commented Apr 27, 2018 at 7:52

1 Answer 1


Outdoor sports vs Gym training is not actually a one against the other. Many a times they are complementary to each other. Having said that, each has its own advantages which might be difficult to achieve in the other form.

Advantages of outdoor sports:

  • Most of the outdoor sports actively target the whole of your body than specific parts of your body.
  • Outdoor sports which do not require specific equipment (eg football, volleyball, running) are way more easier to participate in than a gym workout (which might require weights in case of weight training and machines in case of machine training).
  • Being close to the nature might keep you more motivated as compared to a closed environment of a gym (this is a personal choice though).

Advantages of gym workouts:

  • You can train specific muscles and improve the strength of those specific parts. This is especially beneficial for rehab scenarios.
  • In case you are a beginner who is not too confident with your physical abilities, building strength is much easier in a gym where you have a much controlled setting. Machines for example help you develop a good form while doing certain movements.
  • Weather proof. You need not worry about the weather being too hot or too cold outside. Unfortunately this is a reality that can prevent you from outdoor sports.

My personal view:

I do a bit of calisthenics (which doesn't require a gym and could be outdoors as well). I hike a lot which would in a way act as an outdoors sport and used to be a volleyball player in my younger days.

What I've realised is, my workouts in gym (calisthenics in this case) actually benefits my outdoor pursuits. And overall, both in different ways help you to stay fit and have an active lifestyle.


Based on the comment, how does one complement the other (some of the scenarios):

  • Explosiveness. With outdoor activities like sprinting, you need explosive abilities. These can be trained in a gym.
  • Muscle training for climbing - You can train for lat strength, biceps et al in gym which helps you in the actual outdoor sport.
  • Running/hiking - Helps you to build overall stamina and endurance. This in turn feeds back to your abilities to improve your gym capacities.
  • Swimming - this helps you with your breathing which is one key component for any physical activity (including gym activities).

Some resources that can help you see how different activities benefit from gym activities:

  • I found this answer to be a good comparison between the two, which is what I wanted to achieve through this question. Though the two being not much different from each other as you said and as most of us believe, it would be very helpful if you could include the fact that the two complement each (like in which other ways) apart from one that is calisthenics which you mentioned in the answer. Thanks:)
    – user377340
    Commented Apr 26, 2018 at 5:39
  • @user377340 Done. In fact calisthenics is one of the rare cases. The overall usage is to use gym training to complement your outdoor activities and use outdoor to improve your gym abilities. Commented Apr 26, 2018 at 6:02
  • A good answer, but I would also add that breathing fresh air vs stale air-conditioned gym air is certainly a big advantage.
    – april rain
    Commented Apr 26, 2018 at 7:11
  • @aprilrain Yeah this was one the reasons for which the question was asked.. and yeah the answer’s great as well!
    – user377340
    Commented Apr 27, 2018 at 2:29

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