Spring has, let’s say, fully sprung, and with summer just around the corner, you should make the most of this wonderful weather to jazz up your routine. This is a perfect time of the year to diversify your existing indoors exercise program and reap the many rewards that come with working out in the great outdoors. Joining forces with Mother Nature when it comes to your training can help your body deal with that vitamin D deficiency, improve your mood, and elevate the challenge for your body to handle changing terrains.
However, as beautiful and rewarding as working out in nature may be, there are precautions you should take to keep the whole thing under control. Here are a few tips on making sure your outdoor workouts are as safe as possible!
Start with the right shoes
Every sport requires optimal shoes to maximize your performance, but most importantly, to stay safe and prevent any injuries. Whether you’re running, hiking, mountain climbing, or doing bodyweight workouts outside, start by choosing a pair of shoes that will provide ample support for your ankles, but also that is breathable enough to withstand too much heat. Going into the mountains for a ski trip? Make sure those boots are still water-resistant and that you can handle any slippery slope that comes your way.
Mind the weather
More often than not, your breezy leggings and tank tops cannot keep your body warm enough or let your skin breathe well enough when you go outside for a training session. Going for a hardcore mountain hike? Wearing protective puffer jackets can come in very handy to keep you dry as well as warm. Add to that, no matter if there’s snow or not, always put on plenty of sunscreen, don’t let the cold weather deceive you.
Take it slow and adjust over time
Enthusiasm for working out cannot prevent injuries or weather-induced troubles to your wellbeing in case you push yourself too hard on your first day out and about. If you normally use a treadmill and run for an hour, make sure you start with a thorough warmup, check out the terrain, and start with a half-an-hour run for the first day. Let your ankles and your entire body get used to the different environment before you go full speed ahead, especially if you’re wearing plenty of heavy gear to keep you safe and snug.
Be mindful of your surroundings
So many people love working out to the beat of their favorite music. It’s no secret that the right tunes can help you stay motivated and give your absolute best during a workout. However, make sure that you keep one ear headphone-free, or at least keep the volume down so that you can hear what’s happening around you. Even if there’s no traffic around, you should always be aware of your surroundings.
Share your whereabouts
This one is a no-brainer, but savvy sports enthusiasts still overlook this simple step when moving their workouts outside. No matter if you live in a perfectly safe neighborhood, or you’re new to a bustling metropolis, let your friends and family know about your outdoor workout schedule. If it’s not convenient to notify them before and after each session, they should at the very least know your regular route and your timing. Just in case.
Stay hydrated and energized
When you limit your training routine to the gym, you rely on your trusty bag to carry all the goods for you. Chances are, you rarely forget a bottle of water or your protein shake. Even if you do, there’s a fresh one right there on the spot which you can purchase. When you take a jog in the woods or the nearby park, you may not have access to water or any other refreshment for a long time, and you should never be at the mercy of summer heat.
You can use a fanny pack designed to carry a water bottle, a leg holster, or a hydration belt – whichever speaks to your fashion sense more.
Listen to your body
Even as a versed athlete, one that has seen years if not decades of running in the dead of winter or the middle of summer heat, you still need to keep your senses completely focused on what your body is telling you. At the earliest sign of heat exhaustion, which can be a precursor to a heat stroke, make sure you visit your doctor and take excellent care of your body with ample fresh water, nutrition, and rest.
It pays to have a checklist for staying safe while training in the great outdoors. Now that you’re all set, enjoy the great outdoors and make the most of the time you spend outside!