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You may have some great excuses for why you can’t exercise outdoors: You don’t like to leave the house. The weather is too bad. Something else comes up.
But if you’re looking for an excuse to exercise indoors, we have one for you: It’s just as effective as working out outdoors, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
Researchers asked two groups of men and women — those who were obese and those who were overweight — to walk on a treadmill at home while watching television. One group watched whatever they wanted; the others watched a nature show with scenes meant to make them feel like they were outside.
The researchers measured how much energy was being used by each person in both groups during their treadmill walks and found that it didn’t matter whether or not people felt like they were outside — they burned about the same amount of calories.