The flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping—so what are you doing still exercising indoors at a gym? This time of year – when it’s not too hot, not too cold – is ideal for outdoor workouts. Taking your routine to the street (or your yard, a park or a stadium) is not only a refreshing change of scenery, it can help boost your energy, lift your mood and keep you motivated. Plus, it’s a great way to load up on vitamin D, which your body makes when it’s exposed to sunlight.
Before you head out the door, there are some things you might want to grab to improve your workouts or make them easier:
A jump rope
A blast from the past? Maybe. But jump ropes can be a fun and effective exercise tool. Jumping rope provides an intense cardio workout, while also helping with strength training (working your arms, shoulders, legs and glutes). For every minute you spend jumping, you burn a whopping 10 calories–that’s 600 calories per hour!
When you exercise outside in warmer weather, you’re are a greater risk for becoming dehydrated, Be sure to keep a water bottle with you at all times, and drink often throughout your workout. A good-quality, insulated, BPA-free bottle, such as the CamelBak Podium CHILL, is a must! Add an electrolyte tablet to your drink if the day is particularly hot or you’re planning an especially rigorous workout.
With higher temps comes the need for comfortable, breathable and moisture-wicking clothing. Update your wardrobe for the season—and, while you’re at it, pick up a headband to keep hair out of your face and sweat from your eyes.
Whether you’re going for a long bike ride, run, swim or hike, applying sunscreen 20 minutes before you start is essential. If you’re planning to exercise for more than 30 minutes, carry along a face stick and reapply to exposed areas. If you’re swimming, or sweating a lot, you’ll need an entire re-application after a couple of hours.
A small towel
Keep a small towel handy to wipe your face and forehead during your workout. It’ll keep you cooler and also prevent sweat or sunscreen from dripping into your eyes.
Running waist pack
Forget the vision you have of old-school fanny packs! These handy carryalls have come along way in terms of sleekness and style. Even if you’re not a runner, having one is a convenient way to stash your car keys, ID, cash and sunscreen while you exercise.