Indoor vs Outdoor Sports – Which Offers Long-Term Health Benefits

Did you read the US Department of Health and Human Services annual report on the 55% increase of participators in sports during the 2011-12 session? The number is staggering and signifies the recent trend among young people about their interest in sports. However, it raises a few questions too. One of them is, indoor sports vs outdoor sports – which offers long-term health benefits? So, let’s check some facts and experts’ opinion on the issue to uncover the answer.

Indoor and Outdoor sports

In general term, indoor sport refers to the sports and physical activities played within the indoors under a roof. On the contrary, outdoor sports are played outside the boundary of indoors and often requires a vast and open area. However, with the massive advancement of technology, the borderline between indoor and outdoor sports is getting thinner day by day. For example, Soccer in the USA has almost become an indoor sport with all major stadiums having automatic roof system. However, some new forms of addictive outdoor sports are developing too. Pickleball Paddle, for example, is a game which requires your agility, fitness, and precision at the same time. You may click here for more details.

Indoor sports health benefits:

There are several health benefits of indoor sports which we are little aware of. SFA, a popular sports advisory body identifies four basic health drivers of indoor sports. Other experts have also enlisted the health benefit of indoor sports. These are:

Weather Agnostic:

Indoor sports are largely free from climate issues. The temperature and the humidity of indoor areas are controllable. It evokes greater health benefits as people don’t need to go out and burn under the blazing sun or shiver in the cold while participating in any sort of sports.

Less risky:

Indoor games are played within the limited boundary of an indoor area and it reduces your health risk of getting injured. Indoor sports help you to reduce your stress and increase your immune system and confidence level without creating any danger of injury.

Managing depression:

Indoor sports, especially with your family members, help you to get a better mood and it ultimately helps you to manage your depression. It boosts your mood, basically.

Outdoor sports health benefits:

Since the evolution of Homo Sapien, men have attached themselves with outdoor physical activity. When hunting animals to produce cereals for food, men went through extensive outdoor activity. So, outdoor activities have helped us to survive. In fact, it is often said that the human body is meant to move in nature, not to stay still at home. Outdoor sports have the same survival and health benefits, such as:

Happy heart:

Outdoor sports help to keep your heart in a healthy condition. It pumps more blood which works as a healthy exercise for your heart.

Controlling Diabetes:

Any kind of outdoor sports helps you keep your insulin level under control and perform in a better way. So, it helps you to control your diabetes.

Weight management:

During the past few decades, obesity has become a concerning health issue for millions of people. A recent survey of US Health Department showed that around 29% of adults in the USA are prone to obesity. Outdoor sports burn your calories and fats through extensive physical activity. Ultimately, it helps to reduce and manage your weight in a perfect ratio.

Managing hypertension:

Hypertension or high blood pressure is a major cause of stroke. However, outdoor activities help you manage your hypertension through extensive physical exercises that produce positive cardiovascular activity.

Improving immunity and cholesterol levels:

Physicians and health experts have found through research that outdoor activities help you improve your immune system and manage your cholesterol level by burning extra fats.

Which offers long-term health benefits – Indoor or outdoor sports?

Now, the big question, which sport activity you should prefer considering long-term health Benefits? Well, indoor sports are mostly light exercises to keep you fit. They offer you a selection of time and schedule of your own. And it takes less space too. However, their health benefits are limited. Indoor sports help you cope up with your stress level, reduce depression and allows to move your body parts but only in a limited space. It burns less fat and calories too. Thus, it tends to have less long-term health benefits.

On the contrary, outdoor sports activity burns calories and fat to keep your cholesterol level down. It thus helps to keep your heart in a healthy condition. An American based health agency, in research, found that outdoor sports activity such as soccer, baseball, and athletics increases your lung performance by up to 27%. Moreover, outdoor sports help greatly to maintain your weight and BMI scale compared to indoor sports activity.  Moreover, outdoor sports help your bones grow stronger and keep your body and limbs in perfect shape. So, these advantages place outdoor sports ahead of indoor sports in terms of long-term health benefits.

Nevertheless, indoor sports are less time consuming and less expensive compared to outdoor activities. Moreover, they carry less injury risk. And now are climate controllable too.  These put indoor sports in a better position in terms of your convenience. On the other hand, outdoor sports activities are often time-consuming and expensive which is a setback despite its long-term health benefits.

Final thoughts

It is hard to select a clear-cut winner between outdoor and indoor sports activity in terms of long-term health benefits. While it is evident that outdoor sports are ahead in health benefits, indoor sports might boast of its cheaper and easier access and availability. Yet, looking from long-term issues, I put my bet on the outdoor sports activity.

Nevertheless, indoor sports activities have great health benefits too. Therefore, if you ask my opinion, I would strongly suggest you choose any one of the two considering your personal health issues and other criteria such as schedule, space, and financial ability.  However, both indoor and outdoor sports ensure greater health benefits for you without any doubt.

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