With the weather heating up and summer around the corner, it’s time to trade the treadmill for trails and take your workout outdoors. There are tons of benefits to exercising outside and plenty of creative ways to enjoy the weather while working up a sweat. Let’s take a look!
Thanks to Mother Nature, summer exercise has its perks. Here are a few advantages to working out outside:
Mood-booster. Working out near greenery and water boosts your mood, increases self-esteem, and can reduce anger and depression.
Sunshine & Vitamin D. Sunshine aids in Vitamin D production within the body, preventing disease and reducing depression.
Burn more calories. Battling the elements requires extra energy, meaning more calories burned!
Fun and free. Stay active outdoors without a gym membership or class pass. Plus, what’s more fun than an outdoor adventure?
No equipment? No problem. Push-ups, burpees, air squats, and other body weight activities can be combined into calorie-crushing circuits. Utilize natural obstacles and inclines to imitate the treadmill, elliptical or spin bike. Resistance bands, suspension trainers, medicine balls and jump ropes are some lightweight and portable tools that may also be worth investing in. If traditional exercise isn’t your thing, get adventurous. Hop on a surfboard or paddleboard for a wavy workout or head out for a hike or bike ride in the mountains.
Exercising in extreme temperatures requires caution. A workout can quickly become dangerous without the the proper preparation. Heat-related illnesses kill hundreds of people each year. Here’s how you can stay safe from the heat this summer:
Dress for the weather. Lightweight, moisture-wicking fabric will help keep you cool under the summer sun.
Schedule your workout. On particularly hot days, workout earlier or later in the day to avoid the sun’s peak hours.
Warm up. A low-intensity warm up gives your body time to adjust to the heat, preparing you physically and mentally for exercise.
Adjust intensity and duration as needed. High temperatures increase the intensity of your workout. Dial down your training as needed to make up for the summer heat.
Watch out for warning signs. Cramping, confusion, vomiting, nausea, rapid heart rate, and headaches are all warnings signs of heat stroke, dehydration, and heat exhaustion. Stay in-tune with your body and be aware of your limitations.
Stay hydrated. Up to 75% of Americans suffer from chronic dehydration. As the weather warms up, your body sweats more. This extra heat-induced sweat is a real cause for concern, Drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise. Products like Liquid I.V. can give an extra boost and multiply your hydration when exercising outside.
If you’re taking your workout outdoors this spring or summer, prepare for the heat, stay hydrated, and pay close attention to your body to safely enjoy the benefits of outdoor exercise.