Pretty soon, it’s going to be warm enough to take your fitness routine outdoors. Imagine that! But before you run outside, there are a couple things you’ll want to keep in mind. With a little prep and planning, exercising outdoors can be fun, safe and something you can stick to. Keep reading for a quick guide to outdoor spring fitness.
What should you wear for your springtime workout?
Probably one of the biggest questions that needs answering is “What do I wear?” And while it might seem like a superficial question, it’s actually very important. What you wear outside can make or break your fitness routine.
The spring is marked with wet and sometimes windy weather. And who wants to be wet and cold when they’re working out? Nobody!
So, the first thing to invest in is outer layer pieces that protect you from the elements.
This Move With Ease Jacket is a perfect layering piece that has a snug fit for extra warmth while also keeping you dry with its sweat-wicking material.
For outwear, this Effortless Jacket is lightweight, and water-repellent to keep you dry while you go for a run, bike ride or practice cardio outdoors.
What about shoes?
Comfortable, water-proof shoes are also a must when you take your fitness routine outside this spring.
These Ghost 10 GTX Running Shoes let your feet breathe while also keeping them dry since they’re waterproof.
For a more budget-friendly shoe, these Saucony Excursion TR11 Running Shoes are an affordable option for dry feet, too.
When it comes to exercise and fitness, fashion is important. But so is your safety. And when you move your workout from an indoor gym (or your house) to the great outdoors, you have to consider your safety.
If you’re hiking or biking through a park, do so during the daytime to ensure that you’re always safe and visible. If you’re working out in a park, be aware of pollution or harmful objects that might injure you.
Are you running on the roads? Always use caution, and whenever possible, opt for the sidewalk rather than the street. If that isn’t an option, run and/or walk in the opposite direction.
When it comes to biking on the streets, wear a helmet and bike with traffic. But never assume that the cars see you. Use extra caution whenever crossing intersections.
Last but certainly not least, whether you’re on foot or riding your bike, be sure that you wear reflective gear – we know, it’s not super sexy – but it makes you visible to traffic and that can keep you safe from harm.
How to deal with allergies if you exercise outside
If you suffer from spring allergies, they can easily make you want to skimp out on your fitness routine. And that’s understandable – spring allergies are uncomfortable and annoying.
But there are ways to work around your allergies, says Lisa Lynn, a fitness trainer based in New York, who has trained the likes of Martha Stewart for 13-plus years.
Cover your hair so that pollen won’t be able to settle there and disturb you later on.
Lynn reminds us that seasonal allergies are largely due to pollen. But pollen isn’t the same all day, every day. In fact, it can be the worst in the early mornings, and also when the weather is warm, dry and windy.
And to help you understand the pollen count in your area, you can check out the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology’s National Allergy Bureau.
Lynn also recommends that you cover your hair so that pollen won’t be able to settle there and disturb you later on. A baseball cap is a good option.
Protecting your eyes might make you look a bit geeky, but it can save you a lot of pain and discomfort. Because let’s face it, once pollen hits your eyes, you can suffer from scratchy, watering and itchy eyes. And who wants that?
Finally, remember to take a shower as soon as possible after exercising outside. This will prevent the pollen from lingering on your body and causing allergic reactions.
Have a workout buddy
Research shows that having a workout partner can make a big difference in how much or how little you exercise. In fact, one of the common barriers for not exercising among young people was “I don’t have an exercise partner.”
Is it possible to exercise with a friend or family member regularly? If not, is it an option to have a personal trainer you can meet with once a week or more? Having a workout buddy is great for so many reasons.
For one thing, it can make your fitness routine more enjoyable – and we could all use a fun workout routine, right? For another thing, fitness partners add a nice bit of competition to push us forward and help us reach our goals.
Finally, working out with someone will keep you accountable. So, whenever you want to slack off and skip your routine that day, your partner will make it harder to do.
Be realistic about your fitness goals
If you spent the winter watching Netflix and staying in, you might be a bit out of shape. It’s normal, and it happens to the best of us. But it might make you want to go all out and set big goals. While there’s nothing wrong with lofty fitness goals, this approach is a recipe for disaster.
What you want instead is a fitness routine that is sustainable. So, ask yourself, can I keep up with this in the long run? Is this something I’ll be bored with after a week?
Enjoy being outside
Your exercise routine might push you to your limits and make you break out into a sweat. You’ll probably challenge yourself and experience discomfort. But don’t make your spring workout routine a torture.
Instead, set the intention to enjoy the great outdoors. That’s because being outdoors is not only great for your physical health, but also for your mental health, too. In fact, being outside can reduce both blood pressure and worry.
Are you excited to take your fitness goals outside? How do you plan to get fit this spring?