Depending on where you live in the world, you may have spent these last months with many or all of your workouts indoors. I spend a lot of my time during the winter as a gym rat. My swimming, cardio, weight lifting, and Tae Kwon Do workouts are all indoors.
As the weather is finally getting nicer here in Colorado (hooray!), I’m ready to head outside and enjoy the sunshine. It’s tempting to lace up my shoes and head outside first chance I get, but after years of exercising, I’ve learned that I need to do a little bit of prep first before hitting the streets.
Even if you live in a climate where you can exercise outside year-round, these are great reminders.
Here are 3 quick-checks for taking your workouts outdoors. You’ll enjoy the nice weather and be safe.
3 Quick-Checks for Taking Your Workouts Outdoors
Check over any equipment needs you have. If you are walking or running, is it time for new shoes? (Check out this blog post by personal trainer Jill Csillag with excellent information about finding the best athletic shoes.) Pavement is much less forgiving than a treadmill or elliptical, so if you’ve been working out on equipment, you might need new shoes now, or run on a track if possible.
If you are biking, have your bike serviced, unless you fully understand how to do this yourself. This should be done once a year. A shop will take it a part and soak the parts to remove all the grime, inspect the bike for wear and tear, and make sure it’s in tip-top shape.
At the very least, be sure your tires are pumped up! (Bike tire pump)
Be prepared for emergencies. If you are cycling, have what you need for a flat tire and know how to use it.
Along with equipment, I cannot stress strongly enough hydration. When you venture outside, you won’t have access to water like you do indoors. Carry water with you or plan stops along the way. I love this hand-held water bottle., which also has a small pouch for a key or some cash. It’s not too big for my hand.
Finally, this should go without saying, but wear sunscreen absolutely every time you go outside. I like this Neutrogena Sunscreen for the face, and it even comes in a stick so it doesn’t run and sting your eyes when you sweat.
Check out this page where Faithful Finish Lines members offer some of their favorite workout wear suggestions: Suggestions for workout clothing for real women More companies are targeting exercising clothing that fits the average woman (read: not a perfect size 0!).
As you transition outdoors, consider some items such layers. Weather changes often during Spring and Fall, so a lightweight jacket you can take on and off is a must. I’ve been wearing this Nike running jacket for years. I need to buy a new one because I’ve worn it so much. An outer shell jacket to keep off rain and wind is another great investment.
A hat is a huge help in keeping the sun off your head and face.
These items are an investment, but well worth it. You will wear them for many years to come.
Besides the extra effort you need to prepare your equipment and clothing, you also need to get your head in the game.
Outdoor workouts can be more exciting and motivating for sure! Being outside in nature and sunshine feels awesome.
On the other hand, there are extra challenges to outdoor workouts at times. Once you out on the journey, if you get tired, like it or not you have to get yourself home.
There is no T.V. outside to help pass the time. Music can be helpful, but be aware of safety concerns. Be sure you keep it turned down low enough or better yet, only put in one ear bud. My daughters and I took a women’s self-defense class and I recommend that for every woman, especially if you exercise outside alone. We took a class through our local recreation department and the price was reasonable.
Exercising outside has some additional preparation required, but it’s worth it! Take these 3 quick-checks to take your workout outdoors and your sessions will bring you so much enjoyment and additional motivation.