How to get back into working out outdoors in the spring
As we begin to thaw out from a long, cold winter, many of us look forward to spending time in warmer weather. If you enjoy exercising outside, the anticipation could lead you to rush back into action too quickly.. Not only can this result in burnout, it can also result in injuries. Check out these tips for ramping up your workouts in a safe and effective way.
Go for a check-up. Are you just coming off a long period of inactivity? Does something not quite feel right? If so, make an appointment with your general practitioner. An annual physical is something you should go for anyway, and will help you get your outdoor workout routine off to the best start. The spring season marks the start of warmer weather, but it can also be rainy. You don’t want to carry any lingering injuries into a situation where you may encounter less than ideal conditions. Once you get the clearance from your doctor, it’s time for the fun to begin.
Start off slow. No matter how much you look forward to getting back to outdoor activity, it isn’t a good idea to jump right back into exercise with full force. Instead, ease back into the routine. This means that, if a team sport like soccer is your exercise of choice, you should start with a walk. You can gradually ramp up the intensity of your workout, but start off small. This will ensure you minimize the risk of injury and build endurance in a healthy way.
Add in a little cardio. Even if you don’t consider yourself much of a runner, everyone can benefit from extra aerobic activity. This is especially true if you’re coming off of a winter break from exercise. So jog, run, or bike at a pace that feels comfortable to you for the first couple of weeks, incrementally increasing the speed, intensity, or length of your workout. When it comes time for your team’s first practice or your group’s first hike, you’ll be prepared for the challenge.
Try a fitness trail. When your regular cardio routine starts to feel a little mundane, try working out at your local park. Many public parks have loops you can walk or run with stations where you can stop to engage in various strength training exercises ranging from basic to advanced. If your nearby parks don’t offer this, you can easily make one on your own. Incorporate sturdy trees, steps, benches, and grassy spaces into your training routine.
Stay steady. Life will get in the way of your workout regimen, and that’s okay. You might not be able to get outside for physical activity every day, but remember that the more often you work out, the more efficiently and safely you’ll be able to regain your normal fitness levels.
8 Ways to Give Your Workout a Spring Makeover [MindBodyGreen]