How to Protect Your Body in an Outdoor Workout
By Genevieve Cunningham
Working out in a gym can be really beneficial. The gym atmosphere provides plenty of equipment, motivation from others, and a controlled environment. But sometimes working out in the same place over and over can get boring. When this happens, it can help to take your workout outdoors. It's refreshing and new and full of sunshine and fresh air. But the outdoors and exercise can also be a dangerous combination, especially if you're not prepared. If you're looking to head outside for a workout, take a look at these tips to protect your body and health while you break a sweat.
Be Prepared for All Weather
Weather can change quickly. Before you head out for some exercise, check the conditions. Is it supposed to be hot, rainy, cold, dry? This allows you to prepare properly. But even if the weather is sunny and beautiful, it won't hurt to keep a light jacket, umbrella, and similar items in your car. And of course, you should always have plenty of water and a light snack no matter the weather. The more prepared you are for changing conditions, the better your workout will go in the long run.
Protect Your Skin
It doesn't matter if it's hot or cold out, you should still protect your skin from the sun and wind. You'll need to apply sunscreen before your workout, and probably keep that sunscreen in your car in case you need to reapply. You can also keep sunglasses, a hat or cap, chapstick, and a light jacket or pullover in case of wind. Your skin needs protection all the time, and your outdoor workout is no exception to this long standing rule.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Anytime you're outdoors, you should be aware of your surroundings. You should be aware of potential dangers to your workout -- holes you could twist your ankle in, trash or debris on the ground, etc. But you should also be aware of potential dangers to your overall health. Look for wildlife (snakes, bugs, animals), people you don't know, and pay attention to anything that seems out of the ordinary. As soon as you arrive, do a quick scan of your surroundings, and then pay attention! Being aware is a good habit to keep anyway, and making this a habit during your workout will only make you more successful in keeping yourself safe and healthy.
Outdoor workouts can be so beneficial. They get us outside, which is good for our mental health. They change the scenery and keep our routines from getting boring. And they make life and your workouts just a little more interesting. Use these tips to stay safe during your workouts, and push yourself to better health just a little more every day.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Ventura, Calif.