Tips For Exercising Outdoors In Every Season
Exercising outdoors has plenty of benefits. First off, you get that oh-so-important vitamin D that many of us are deficient in. Just make sure to wear your sunscreen so you don’t get more sun that you wanted. Next, you get some fresh air. You also—depending on where you exercise—come in contact with nature, which is good for your mental and emotional wellbeing. The things you pass during your outdoor workouts, from people to places, can inspire you, give you new ideas, and motivate you. Haven’t you ever noticed that, when you jog outdoors rather than at the gym, you somehow go further without feeling tired? It’s because you’re amused and entertained. But, you can’t control the great outdoors the way the owner of a gym can control his environment. There’s no AC. There aren’t cushioned floors. There isn’t a roof or walls. So you have to adjust your exercise habits outdoors, as nature adjusts. Here are tips for exercising outdoors during every season.
Warm up indoors
On cold days, do some exercises indoors before heading out. This will warm and loosen up your muscles. You don’t want already stiff muscles getting hit with cold air, which makes them stiffer. This can lead to cramps.
Get shoes with great tread
Invest in workout shoes with deep treads and good traction. Remember that ice can be difficult to see on the roads, and it can be very dangerous if you skid across it. Shoes with good tread may prevent serious accidents. You may even consider cleats for snowy areas.
Add gloves in the winter
Remember to keep your extremities warm in the winter. Many people don’t think about covering up their hands when they head out for a jog, but since your hands have so little fat on them, they’re prone to frost bite.
Go slow on new ground
When you’re jogging in a new area—or at least an area you haven’t jogged on since snow fell—go slowly at first. It’s important to check that the ground isn’t too icy.
Wear reflective clothes in winter
Lighting can be very low, no matter what time of day it is, in the winter. Wear reflective clothing if you exercise outdoors on cold, stormy days. The weather can make it difficult for drivers to see you.
Add a beanie
Your head, like your hands, loses heat quickly. Your ears in particular, since they’re low on fat, can develop dangerous frostbite. So make sure to add a beanie in the winter.
Get moisture-wicking fabric for cold days
It’s important to cover up on cold days, but since you will sweat during your workout, you don’t want to be stewing in your own moisture. Invest in quality, moisture-wicking long-sleeves and long pants for winter workouts.
Invest in a fanny pack. Yes.
You thought they were only for your mom and women of the eighties, but it may be time to invest in the all-dreaded fanny pack. It’s the only way you’ll be encouraged to bring important things like your sunscreen, energy bar, and sunglasses on outdoor workouts.
Invest in thick winter socks
Your feet are one last thing you need to make sure to keep nice and toasty in the winter. Even though many exercise socks are designed to breathe, when it’s freezing outside, you’re better off with thick ones that insulate your feet.
Get inside as soon as you’re done
Once you’re done exercising outdoors on a cold day, go inside right away. If you hang out outdoors, you’ll be sweaty and cold aka you’ll be wet and cold which is a recipe for disaster.
Get a water backpack for the summer
Lugging a water bottle around in the summer is a pain, but it’s extra important to stay hydrated if you workout outdoors on hot days. Invest in a water backpack—some are very lightweight, and send a little straw from a bottle inside to over your shoulder.
Ease into hot day workouts
Don’t start a workout on a hot day at full throttle. Start with a brisk walk, move into a power walk, and if you feel that you can handle it, move into running or more intense workouts. Your body needs time to adjust to the temperature separate from the time it needs to adjust to the workout.
Work out early morning or evening in the summer
On very hot days, workout before the sun is in the center of the sky, or after it has begun to dip. Ideally, you shouldn’t workout between 11 am and 2pm.
Wear light and bright clothes in the summer
Dark colors trap heat and will make you extra hot. Wear clothes that breathe well, have light fabric, and feature bright colors to stay cool in the summer.
Look for these overheating symptoms
Familiarize yourself with your body’s signals that it’s time to stop exercising and go indoors. Watch out for dizziness, nausea, headache, light-headedness, and a rapid heart rate. If you experience any of these, stop immediately.