Tip #1: Figure Out Where
If you want to exercise outside, the first thing you need to do is figure out where. There are plenty of advantages that come with doing workouts in nature, but some places can yield different benefits and advantages over others. Before you head out, think about where you want to go and then let other people know (more on that in the next tip!).
You can roughly break down your outdoor location plan into three types: single-site, travelling workout and destination. Single-site is where you stay in one place and do your workout there, like a yoga session in a park. Travelling workouts turn the journey into the workout, like running a few blocks and stopping to do push-ups and then running some more. Destination takes you to a place where you finish off your workout. This can be a big loop or a there-and-back sort of situation.
If you’re running, think about different terrain. Switching up terrain types, like trails and grass, can be gentler on the body and helps to improve your technique. Be careful, though, softer terrain can be uneven and could lead to injuries if you’re not careful. In general, prioritize technique over speed the softer and more uneven the terrain becomes.
Tip #2: Stay Safe
Once you know where you’re going, it’s important that to take all the necessary precautions for exercising in the great outdoors. First amongst them is personal safety: make sure someone knows where you’ll be and when you’re set to return, just in case. You should bring your phone along in case you need to contact someone as well. Depending on where you’re exercising, some added precautions for encountering wildlife may be needed as well, whether it’s a bear bell or mace.
Tip #3: Stay hydrated
If there is one thing you need to remember when working out, it’s stay safe and hydrated. Unlike controlled indoor environments, you can overheat and dehydrate much more quickly outdoors, even if the sun isn't particularly strong.
Tip #4: Take Advantage of What’s Around
The great outdoors has plenty of things you can use to work out. A large flat rock can be a spot for lunges. Inclines can add some extra resistance to your sprints. Do wall sits on a tree.
Thinking creatively about what’s around you is a fantastic way to switch up the routine and stay engaged when working out. After all, every time you head out, there are new possibilities about what you can do.
Working outside has distinct advantages when done properly. If you’re heading out for your workouts, make sure you stay safe, stay hydrated and take advantage of the world around you. It’s not only a great way to explore but a new way to approach your regular exercise routine.