Exercising outside can be inspiring, just keep these tips in mind…
Whether it’s Central Park or Moab, being outdoors makes me want to move my body. The trees, flowers, water or desert can inspire an exercise routine and get me out of the gym, which is great, but there are a few special things to keep in mind when doing outdoor workouts.
1. Time of day
I always do my workouts first thing in the morning because it works with my schedule and starts my day out in a healthy way – both physical and mentally. In general though, the rule of thumb for hot weather climates or summertime workouts, is to avoid exercising from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m, to avoid the worst of the daytime heat.
As you know, I use sunscreen year-round. Sunburns can happen on cold winter days, cloudy days, and sunny hot days. It’s always important to protect your skin! Remember to reapply and use sunscreen that won’t sting your eyes when you work up a sweat.
When you sweat, your body loses water, along with electrolytes and salt. Drink a glass or two of water before and after an outdoor workout, and bring a bottle along with you. If you don’t drink enough water, you can get dehydrated and suffer from light-headedness and nausea. Not replenishing electrolytes and salt can result in muscle cramps and nausea, so be sure to balance them with your water intake.
4. Dress for Success
When working out outdoors, the temperature can fluctuate from cold to hot, and you may find yourself wishing for some versatile exercise clothes. Layering is always smart. Sweat wicking clothes can also be great so you don’t feel weighed down and wet – oftentimes wearing the wrong clothes or shoes (even socks!) can put a damper on a great outdoor workout.
5. Pace Yourself
Sometimes I can get lost in my workout. In the moment I push myself and the change of scenery provides that distraction to keep my mind and body going. It’s great and I love it – until I don’t. As wonderful as it may be while you are doing the workout, remember to watch your time and energy levels. You want to be able to come back and do it all again soon, not be so worn out that the thought of an outdoor workout exhausts you before you begin.
6. Enjoy It!
Being one with nature can be inspiring and ramp up the quality and connection of your workout. Other times its just nice to skip the gym routine. Don’t forget to take in the scenery and enjoy the workout!