As the Norwegians say “There’s no bad weather, just bad clothing.” If you know how to dress you can exercise in all but the most severe weather.
In the summer heat can be a major issue, especially in climates with high humidity. Sweat-wicking materials will help pull away moisture where it can evaporate faster. Although “sports” sunscreens are designed to stay on when you sweat, you should still reapply them every hour to ensure coverage.
Electrolytes are not a marketing gimmick for sports drinks: Drinking only water when you sweat can lead to hyponatremia, a dangerous medical condition. Try to keep drinks on hand at all times, sipping as you go to keep your body hydrated. Bottle-holding belts are available for carrying drinks without interfering with exercise.
Winter exercise requires a careful balance between staying warm but not overheating. Wear layers that can easily be removed or unzipped to maintain your body temperature. Any clothing touching your skin should be made out of a sweat-wicking material. As with warm weather the idea is to keep moisture off of your body, but instead of keeping you from overheating it prevents the perspiration from collecting and chilling your body. Face coverings should provide enough ventilation over your mouth so that moisture from your breath won’t accumulate on your face.
What Are Some Good Outdoor Workouts?
No, you don’t have to be in top shape to run. There are plenty of beginner running workout plans, and many events are designed to handle new, slower runners.
The latest trend is barefoot or Chi running. Instead of striking the ground with the heel and rolling the foot forward, both of these running styles emphasize landing on the mid-foot. Although not as fast as traditional heel-to-toe running, it does reduce the chance of injury. This style of running is used mostly by long distance runners, particularly ultra marathoners who may cover 100 miles in a single day.
Bicycles stand out for offering both good exercise and practical transportation. Even the busiest person can integrate bicycling into their lifestyle, replacing short car trips with short bicycling trips.
Concentrate more on cadence when training and less on speed. Shifting will help you maintain the pace at the pedals even as your speed varies. If you feel like you can’t handle the slow shifting of a derailleur look for an internal gear hub: These can be shifted instantly, including a quick drop back to first when you stop.
Remember: The best bike is the one you ride. It doesn’t need a carbon fiber frame, tucked riding position, or five hundred speeds to give you a good workout. Your local bike shop can help you find a bike that fits your body as well as your riding style.
Bicycling is becoming popular with people who are severely overweight because it offers cardiovascular exercise with little in the way of joint stress. Some manufacturers specialize in strengthened bikes that can handle riders weighing as much as 550lbs.
We’ve all done push-ups, crunches, and pull-ups in gym class. While that may have been a long time ago these aren’t any less effective. “Ghetto workouts” are a variation on this theme, using objects you can find nearby like lampposts and playground equipment to perform exercises. You may not have a pull-up bar at home, but you can probably walk to a tree branch, deck, or jungle gym where you can perform one.
A “toy” is any weight training device that goes beyond the usual weight equipment. Once only used by strongmen, these are slowly being integrated into other workouts because they help develop stabilizing muscles while also break up the monotony of weight training. Some of these can be bought from sports stores while others can be built.
Medicine ball – The most common toy, this is simply a weighted ball. Play catch with a partner, run with it like a football, or hold it while doing crunches. Entire workouts have been designed around this simple tool, particularly sports-specific exercises that enable increased weight to be used while mimicking motions used in game play.
Sledgehammer – Like the medicine ball there are entire workouts designed around this tool. However, while you can also use the ball indoors you probably don’t want to be swinging a large hammer around in your living room.
Many trainers swing the hammer into an old tractor tire, providing the motion of a regular swing while cushioning the impact. You can sometimes pick up these tires for free or almost free at your local tire shop. In some areas it may not be legal to store a tire outdoors as they make an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Sandbags – Sand is hard to grip and shifts when lifted, making workouts very difficult. A sandbag weight set can be made by filling heavy gauge plastic bags with playground sand. These small bags can be added to a larger bag much like adding weights to the end of a barbell. Some people put these plastic bags in an old duffel bag, but purpose-built bags will last longer.
Water – Kegs are popular, or you can make a water weight by gluing end caps to a piece of PVC pipe. The device in question should be no more than half full: It’s the sloshing of the water that makes these hard to control. This is an excellent way to build stabilizer muscles.
What Are Your Ideas For Outdoor Workouts?
What do you think? What are some other ways that you can get a great workout outdoors?
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