The Pros & Cons of Outdoor Summer Workouts

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Summer has arrived and that means it’s the perfect time to get on track with your fitness. And what better way to do so but by taking advantage of the warmer weather and great outdoors to do your workouts. Here we share some pros and cons of outdoor workouts, as well as valuable tips to encourage you to jumpstart your healthier lifestyle.  Happy workouts!

The Pros

Besides having more room to spread out and really commit to your exercise, there are plenty of benefits to taking your daily workout outside. For instance, exercising outside enables you to soak up the sunlight and work on your vitamin D production. Let’s not forget your lungs also get the benefit of more fresh air than you would have gotten exercising in the gym or the house. For those no wanting to take the step alone, we suggest taking on group fitness (outside of course), and outdoor workouts with friends so you motivate each other. Even jogging with your dog can be a great motivational push to getting more in touch with the environment, and experience your neighborhood and town in a new light. All while burning off calories and keeping the heart healthy.

The Cons

Sometimes, exercising outdoors during summer comes at a price, such as overexposure to the sun. In fact, when the weather is too hot, experts do not recommend you stay outside for long, much less exercise because it can lead to numerous health risks like dehydration. Instead, they suggest you wait later on in the evening when the temperature is cooler to go outside. Also, people with allergies can have a difficult time exercising outside during this time of year. And therefore can affect their fitness progress substantially. If you do choose to go ahead with an outdoor fitness plan, we highly encourage you to use sunscreen, whether the day is pleasantly warm or sizzling hot. Skin cancer is a serious health issue not to be taken lightly.

Our Best Outdoor Workout Recommendations

Jogging is perhaps the most popular outdoor activity. But while jogging around your neighborhood may seem dull, there are some great ways to make a light jog more challenging and stay fun at the same time. Take utility belts or arm straps for example, they give the freedom to not be weighed down by cellphones, wallets and keys we normally carry with us during a run. All you do is just place them in your pouch or insert your iPod in the arm strap, and you can hit the ground running with your favorite music blasting away. Want to bump up your run, try a hiking trail. Not only will you get to scope fantastic scenery, you will also take your fitness to another level. Now if you notice your getting a grumbly tummy or woozy when your stomach is full on a run, try casein protein shakes.  These highly-packed protein shakes when taken before bed the previous night can give you an energy boost. In fact there are a ton of vitamins and protein shakes and powders that help you target your troubled areas and achieve your fitness goals.

Cycling is a great, fun and easy way to stay fit. Not only is it absolutely preferable to often times crowed public transportation, it works wonders for your gluteus maximus, calves, hamstrings and quadriceps. You just simply pop in a water bottle or two in the bottle holder, place your small bag in the front basket slot (if available) and you’re good to go. For those new to cycling it’s always best to go in moderation as you are exercising new muscles you may not be use to using in your everyday routine. However, don’t coast either. Gradually build up resistance so soon you won’t be detouring that big hill up ahead but rather cycling up it.

Swimming is known to be one of the best exercises for the body. If you have a pool or public pool access, put swimming in your workout list this summer. Besides the fact that swimming works on all the muscles and shoulders to the core and the obliques, it’s also good for the cardiovascular system. Bring someone along with you so you can time each other after every 2 to 4 lap to see your progress. Again it’s essential to apply sunscreen because even though you’re in the water doesn’t mean you’re immune to sun damage.

Now of course there are various different exercises you can do, some of which only require a bench, a park or a simply a net. Some of these include bench climbers, hops, step ups, simple yoga and volleyball at the beach. The possibilities are endless, so remember weight the pros and cons of outdoor exercise, and start on checking off those fitness goals you’ve set this summer.

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Alison Rost

I’m a huge fan of all things outdoors. In the summer months I love taking long walks in the afternoon and bike rides whenever I need a small grocery run. You’re so right about the heat and I do have to be careful. I plan my routes based upon where the water fountains are around town and always keep some money in my shoe in case I need to stop for something along the way.

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