It's summer, so you want to be outside as much as possible. We feel you! Even on the days where it's so hot you feel like you're walking through soup, it's hard to resist the call of the outdoors. This is why so many of us take to the streets, trials and parks to get in our workouts.
The fresh air, life-affirming hit of nature and sunshine are all perks of working out al fresco. This said, exercising out of doors does have a few downsides that can make it challenging. From harsh UV rays, to excessive heat to bugs and (let's be honest), other people, sometimes working out outside can be difficult.
Not to worry. We've been doing it on the regular for a decade and we're armed with hacks to help you make the most of your outside sweat sessions. Read on to learn more.
Avoid being obnoxious. If you're setting up camp for a HIIT workout, only take the room you need. The park is not your own private playground. Don't establish yourself under the monkey bars or by the slides: other people need to use the space too. Choose a slice of space — preferably in the shade — that's not in the flow of traffic, and won't interfere with anyone else using the facilitates. You're working out to make gains, after all -- not enemies.
Ever tried lugging a kettlebell to the park? It's great for your home workout, but not so hot to walk with to your sweat spot. Opt for easy to transport equipment that's still packs a punch, like a Booty Band and a weighted vest. You don't need your entire home gym with you. In fact, if you tried to bring it, you'd be likely be exhausted before your workout even began.
Be sure to bring your water bottle! You need to hydrate: that's non-negotiable. But if you want to avoid being caught outdoors when nature calls, sip water sparingly during the hour before your workout, as needed during your workout and then pound back the H2O after.
Music has long been lauded for its ability to amp up your workout. When you're exercising outside, popping in your ear phones can also help signal to other people that you're in the zone, and not in the headspace for a chat. If you opt to forgo the headphones and listen to music in the open air, just keep it down. Remember, this is a shared space.
Ever had sunscreen and bug spray sweat into your eyeballs? It's not pleasant. Even the sport sunscreens don't always stay put, and they can clog up your skin and cause irritation and breakouts. Instead, make your own sunscreen and bug repellent by mixing coconut oil with a few drops of frankincense essential oil. (2 tbsp of coconut oil for 10 drops of frankincense.) Make sure the oil is 100% pure. Frankincense has been used to effectively repel insectsfor centuries, and coconut oil has a natural SPF of 4-5.
Granted, this isn't going to give you enough SPF if you burn easily and/or outdoors for a long time, but if you're just sneaking in a quick HIIT session, you'll be covered. And when you inevitably work up a sweat, this homemade concoction won't sting your eyes. (Bonus: coconut oil and frankincense won't agitate your skin and are actually hailed for their age defying properties!)
Take these tips to heart (and to wherever you workout) and we guarantee you’ll get more out of your outdoor workout.
Have any tips of your own? Share them in the comments!
Try this no-equipment back exercise in your next workout and start building a stronger back and core. Jenny Lam shows you how it’s done!
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