Many people enjoy exercising in the fresh air outdoors instead of going to the gym. Exercising outside has many benefits, but you also need to take special precautions. Here are things to consider.
Choose your footwear carefully in order to avoid injury. Asphalt and concrete jogging paths can be hard on the feet, and so make sure your footwear provides extra cushioning and support. Uneven terrain off the beaten path may feel softer, but it provides its own challenges. Choose footwear that has extra grip on the soles to prevent slipping on these uneven surfaces.
Don’t forget to bring an ample supply of cool drinking water with you. You can find special backpacks with water reservoirs, or get a water bottle that has a belt attachment. Don’t underestimate how much you will need to drink, especially if it is a hot day. Bring at least 44 ounces with you if you plan to work out for about an hour and you won’t have close access to a convenience store or water fountain.
Biking outdoors can feel much more rewarding than sitting inside on a stationary bike. Stay safer by staying alert to your surroundings. Always alert pedestrians or other bicyclists to your presence before passing them. At night, make sure to wear light colored reflective clothing and have your bicycle equipped with lights in front and back, along with reflective strips. According to attorney Melissa Fischer, it is important to be aware of the laws affecting bicyclists. Knowing things like right-of-way, bike lanes and reflectors can help you stay protected.
Battling the Elements
Exercising in the heat and cold pose risks, but you can minimize these with the right habits and the right clothing. In summer, wear light moisture moisture-wicking clothing. Bring a bottle full of ice or an ice pack with you in case you begin to feel overheated. Never push yourself to continue if you feel dizzy, you stop sweating or you feel nausea. These are some signs of heat exhaustion. When exercising in the cold, wear layers of clothing that you can remove if you feel overheated. Make sure you wear a hat and earmuffs to prevent frostbite on your ears, and some type of mouth covering to help warm and moisten the air as you breathe.
Stick to public places, such as public parks, and let friends know where you will be. Stay aware of your surroundings so that you won’t be taken by surprise by a stray dog or a suspicious person.
Precautions against Injury or Illness
Remember to warm up your muscles and stretch before you begin. If you do succumb to an injury or an illness, stay calm until you can locate help. Always bring your cell phone with you to alert others if you get into some kind of trouble.
From the special flooring to the air conditioning and bathrooms, gyms offer a controlled environment free from most outdoor hazards. Outdoors, the story is a little different, but as long as you plan ahead and stay aware, you can safely enjoy exercising in the sunshine and fresh air.