7 Tips for Exercising Outdoors Year-Round and in All Weather
Have you decided that exercising outdoors in nature is going to be a year-round pastime for you? This is a great goal to have, for a few reasons. It's nice to get outside and breathe the fresh air. Getting a break from people can be good for your mental health. And being in nature is a great way to slow down, increase mindfulness and soothe your nervous system.
But how will you stay true to your commitment to outdoor exercise when the weather does wacky things? This will take some extra effort, but lots of people do it and are all the healthier and happier for it.
Committing to an exercise routine means making room in your life. If you know that you like to exercise at a certain park or field that’s a certain distance away from your home or work, then scheduling factors in.
Your favorite park to walk, run or play sports in is 4 minutes from your work but fifteen minutes from home. Packing a back of workout clothes, a healthy snack, running shoes and hydration will ensure that you head straight to your outdoor exercise destination after work if that works best with your daily schedule.
Pivot as needed
Sometimes the weather derails our plan. So do those mini emergencies, like one of your kids texting in that they need a ride home at the exact time when you planned to be out exercising.
Have a backup plan
If Plan A comes undone, you’ll still have Plan B. So maybe you were asked to stay late at work which means you missed your time slot for taking a run through the neighborhood. Now it’s dark. You don’t like running in the dark, but you’re committed to a workout – so exercise video and free weight at home it is.
Exercising outdoors requires taking extra safety precautions. A fanny pack can keep your keys on your person so you don’t end up having to hold them while jogging or accidentally having them fall out of your jacket pocket. It’s also a smart idea to avoid desolate areas like the park, if you’re running after hours. Proper running shoes factor in, as does dressing for the weather.
Dress for comfort and function
Choose active wear that’s snug fitting, wicks away perspiration, and has some give so you can move freely. Microfiber works well for this purpose. Choose running shoes that offer good arch support and that will cushion impact as you run.
Choose your seasonal sport or activity
You’re not limited to running outdoors if that bores you. Many people hit the paths at the park to walk, ride bikes, skateboard and rollerblade. You can also do yoga, shoot some hoops, play soccer or baseball with your kids, Hula hoop, or do any number of outdoor sports to keep things interesting.