Exercising indoors day in day out can get pretty boring. I mean, all you see are 4 walls, and in case you do it in your house, you have to constantly deal with obstructions and distractions. Gyms aren’t merry either considering the sweat smells you have to deal with, plus the intimidation you get from people who consider themselves to be the ultimate “gymists”. That is why it is important to get out and work out outdoors once in a while.
Taking your workouts outside has many benefits, greatest of them all being that, if you do it in the morning, you get to soak up the benefits of the morning sun. You also interact with nature when working out outdoors, which is good for your mental health.
But there are some necessary precautions that you have to take when exercising outsides that you don’t care too much about when indoors. This post focuses on the 6 most important tips for great outdoor workouts.
- Always start with a warm-up
Everyone needs to warm up in order to prepare for an intense workout, whether indoors or outdoors, but it is especially important to warm up when exercising outside on a cold morning. Cold temperatures make your body susceptible to sprains and strains, but you can counter that by getting your blood warm through a good, low-intensity warm-up. You are less likely to get injured when your blood is warm. Before you start running, for example, be sure to stretch a bit, particularly the bend-and-hold stretching, swing your arms, and make a few sprints in the backyard. You should repeat this same routine at the end of your workout.
- Dress for the weather
You shouldn’t exercise outside during extreme weather, but you shouldn’t allow less than ideal conditions to keep you indoors, e.g. mild rains or slightly chilly weather. However, you should always peep through your window to read the weather before deciding what to wear for the day’s session.
Layer your clothing when the weather is cold in order to trap in as much heat as you possibly can. You can always remove the layers one at a time as your body gets warm. Wear water-wicking clothes when exercising in warm weather. Also, remember to wear the right shoes for the right weather.
Bottom line: You will be safer when dressed properly regardless of the weather.
Biking is a great cardiovascular exercise. It is great for your quadriceps and hamstring. All that aside, biking is great because it allows you to explore more and have fun as you work out. If you haven’t cycled before, you should acquire an electric, pedal-assist bike for your biking endeavors, or convert your regular bike into an ebike using bicycle motor kits. What you will have after that is a bike that’s easy on your thighs and knees, and that helps you to take on any terrain like a pro. You should also ensure that your bike is fitted properly to your body in order to eliminate the chances of suffering lower back and knee pains.
- Exercise early or late in the day
Mid-morning to late afternoon is the hottest part of the day. You can easily suffer sunburns during that time. Avoid them by exercising before 9 in the morning or after 5 in the evening. Besides, a morning outdoor workout will energize you and keep your spirits high for the day ahead, while a 1-hour session of outdoor dancing or relaxing yoga in the woods will give you enough peace to get you through the night.
- Find the best location
Don’t work out in your backyard every day. Go to the pack, change your jogging route, go hiking away from home, and try out caves and woods within your neighborhood. You will not get bored fast when you keep changing locations.
- Stay hydrated
Drink half your body weight in ounces for every day you exercise outside in order to keep your body sufficiently hydrated. Download a reminder app and set it to remind you to drink up after every one or two hours in case you forget.
This is a bonus tip: Always carry some form of identification with you whenever you are exercising outside. A document with your name, home address, a close relative’s contact information, your underlying health issues if any, and any other information you find relevant. All that is just in case there is an emergency and you need help from strangers.