Location, Location: Where You Work Out Matters

by Marissa Stephenson


Stephanie RausserStephanie Rausser Where you work out matters. Match the surface to your get-fit goal.

Grass: You naturally lift your feet higher to clear the blades, says Yale University cross-country coach Amy Gosztyla. So working out on the lawn versus a treadmill, track or pavement acts like a mini butt-and-leg-shaping drill.

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Sand: You'll raise your heart rate 10 extra beats per minute (which means you'll burn more calories) doing sprints on the beach versus a firmer surface, but without feeling like it's much harder or being any more sore the next day, a Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research study finds.

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Road: You're speediest on blacktop, so if you're timing a run, do it here, Gosztyla says. Just make sure your next workout is on softer stuff, like grass, to give your joints a break.

Trail: Jumping over rocks and roots as you hike trails helps you burn 13 more cals per minute than walking on level turf, a study from the Universities of Rome and Cassino suggests.

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