Spring is here which means warmer weather is right around the corner for us. Time to move your workout from the dreary four walls of a gym to the outdoors! Here are some basic tips from our very own fitness guru Trista Wotochek (from our Colorado Springs Store) to help get you started.
1. Decide on what you’d like to spend your spring/summer doing—Have you always wanted to start running, biking, or swimming? How about one of those crazy boot camps you keep hearing about? Have a little heart-to-heart with yourself and identify what is truly piquing your interest right now. Then, simply put, START doing it.
2. Get the right shoes—Wearing the kicks that suit your feet and your activity can make all the difference in enjoying your workout all season long. Find the trail runners, cross trainers, or road runners perfect for your precious feet. Your feet are the first point of contact with the ground and the impact goes up your entire body from there. Getting it right from the bottom up is important and can help keep you injury free and strong for the entire season.
3. Find a workout buddy—It doesn’t have to be your BFF….just find a gal pal who loves to be outside soaking in the fresh air and vitamin D, just like you. The benefits are endless: support, accountability, motivation, and let’s not forget all the emotional benefits of having some good ol’ fashion girl-talk in our routines. Who knows, you may even want to check out a local 5K, 10K, or triathlon together. Set a goal, and get a move on. Who says we have to do it all, all alone, all the time? Nobody!
4. Pick your outdoor workout time…and guard it fiercely!—With the season changing and days getting longer, you may have to re-visit your schedule and come up with a new, consistent workout time. If you have a new workout buddy, get with him/her and write your workout time in your schedule just like all your other appointments. If something comes up and competes for your workout time—and it always does!—you can say, “Sorry, I already have something in my schedule at that time, can we look at another day/time?”
Beat the heat:
1. Time your workouts—Exercise in the morning or evening — when it’s likely to be cooler outdoors — rather than the middle of the day. If possible, exercise in the shade or in a pool.
2. Drink plenty of water—Your body’s ability to regulate its core temperature depends on adequate rehydration. Drink plenty of water while you’re exercising outside, even if you don’t feel thirsty. This will help you sweat and cool down. In drier climates it’s hard to notice you are actually sweating because it evaporates instantly. Don’t be deceived, you are losing water even if you don’t see it or feel it. If you’re planning to exercise intensely or for longer than one hour, consider a sports drink that will replace the electrolytes (sodium, chloride and potassium) you lose through sweating. Avoid drinks that contain caffeine or alcohol, which actually promote fluid loss.
3. Wear proper clothing—Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that breathes and wicks the sweat away (promotes sweat evaporation). Avoid dark colors, which can absorb the heat. A lightweight hat can help protect your skin and limit your exposure to the sun.
4. Take it slow at first—Especially if you are used to exercising indoors or in cooler weather. As your body adapts to the heat, gradually increase the length and intensity of your workouts. If you have a medical condition or take medication, ask your doctor if you need to take additional precautions.
5. Wear sweat proof sunscreen—A sunburn can decreases your body’s ability to cool itself and your workout will feel much more difficult and even discouraging. Keep your skin healthy and cool.
6. Have a backup plan—If you’re concerned about the heat or inclement weather, stay indoors. Work out at the gym, pop in your favorite workout DVD, or climb stairs inside an air-conditioned building.
About Trista Wotochek
Trista is a graduate from the National Personal Training Institute and a nationally certified personal trainer through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. She is also a certified Yoga instructor and a certified Health and Holistic Wellness Coach.
Trista runs a women-only boot camp in Colorado Springs and is also available for one-on-one private training.