The sun has returned after a long season of working out indoors, and once again the world is your gym.
You might be wondering how you can best translate your indoor fitness to the great outdoors. Here are eight things you can do to bring the fitness gains you’ve made over the winter to the fresh air:
Get the right gear
Shifting your fitness routine outside comes with a number of health, safety and comfort risks, so be sure to get the right equipment. Breathable, comfortable clothes will go a long way in keeping you cool and happy in the heat. Shoes with reliable tread will prevent slipping when running. Brightly-coloured clothing, reflectors or lights should be worn to bolster invisibility when working out in low light. And, of course, be sure to stay hydrated with a water bottle or camel bag when sweating it in the sun. Speaking of sun, be sure to use sunblock to protect your skin from UV rays, even during cloudy days.
Over the past few years there has been a growing movement of fitness enthusiasts who have embraced the concept of MovNat, which essentially involves thinking of the outdoors as your gym, and whatever you find there as your equipment. Lift rocks and logs, jump over obstacles, run, swim, climb trees or whatnot. You’ll not only improve your fitness while enjoying the great outdoors, but you’ll get to put your body into action and see it do the things that nature designed it for.
Get out in nature
There’s nothing like putting all of that fitness you’ve built up into action, and the best way to do that involves getting outdoors and using your body. Happily, you live in a region of the country (and indeed the world) that offers outdoor spaces that are practically unrivaled in their easy access and beauty. And there’s an outdoor activity for everyone. Hit the water for a swim, kayak or canoe. Head out into the mountains to hike or climb. Get outside for a run, bike ride, a walk, or to play a bit of hockey, softball or whatever it is that gets your body moving and your heart pumping.
Explore your city
Not everyone realizes it, but the simple act of walking is a great form of exercise. Now that the sun is out again, take this opportunity to get to know your city better. Hit the streets and spend some time wandering an unfamiliar neighborhood.
Give trail running a try
For most people, running on cement or the treadmill is the only way to go. But when the weather permits, a trail run is a great way to change things up. Not only does it provide you with a beautiful, natural setting, but the uneven changes in terrain will cause you to work hard, resulting in more calorie burn and muscle development.
Build an outdoor routine
You have your indoor fitness routine – build one you can take outside. This likely means minimizing the need for equipment by doing bodyweight exercises. Pushups, lunges, burpees, long jumps, mountain climbers – make a list of exercises that will hit a range of muscle groups, then hit the yard.
Get a jump rope
Not only is a jump rope a great piece of fitness equipment in general thanks to its full body workout and high rate of calorie burn, also it provides an outstanding outdoor workout. It can go anywhere – your driveway, the park, the beach or anywhere else with a flat surface and fresh air.
Get the group involved
Whether you’re looking for companionship, motivation or safety, exercising outdoors can often be supported by a friend or friends. Play a team game, find a running partner or simply let someone close to you in on your plans so that if anything happens somebody knows where you went and when you were expected back.
Simply put, when it comes to fitness, the more the merrier – especially when the sun is shining.