A good workout makes a foundation for a healthy lifestyle. It builds your strength, improves fitness and even carries some handy psychological benefits. But what do we do when driving to the gym takes too much time, or you are simply not in tune with the whole gym setting? Well, just get out for a run and use any bar you find along the way for calisthenics training.
But this convenience has a slight drawback. Working out outside is more strenuous and requires better preparation than indoor training. Let’s take a look then at a couple of ways you can prepare your body for a good outside workout.
Take care of the hydration
Every one of us knows about the importance of hydration during and after the training. But how many of us make a conscious effort to supply our bodies with precious fluids before the training? The answer is very few, which is a big mistake. If you know you will undergo a strenuous training like long-distance running, you should start drinking increased amounts a day before. As for the training day, start by drinking 2 cups of water early in the morning and continue with 2 immediately before the workout.
Protect your body from the elements
There is one thing you need to do before even going outside – dress appropriately for the weather. Depending on the season, this will include a different number of layers, but it is always imperative to think about the materials.
Polypropylene makes a good base layer because of its moisture-wicking properties. Another popular choice for essentials such as men bottoms tights is Polygiene – a fabric that not only wicks the moisture but also breaks down odors.
If you need another layer of clothing you should cover the polypropylene with micro-fleece that has ventilated openings.
Finish up with a windbreaker or a nylon jacket to repel wind and rain.
Reach an appropriate body temperature
Have you ever felt your muscles or joints aching after running or doing another type of cardio? This could happen because you haven’t warmed up properly. If you don’t warm up your motion range will be limited which can lead to an injury or sore muscles.
By warming up before running, you will increase the blood flow and body temperature, and thus reduce the muscle stiffness and prepare your muscles for contractions.
Here are a few ways to get the desired temperature:
- Brisk walk for five to six meters.
- Try walking on your heels and toes for a couple of minutes.
- Run backward to reduce pressure on your knees.
- Do front lunges.
Activate your muscles with some stretching
Your muscles will be ready for optimal performance after some stretching. For an outdoor run, it would be best to go for dynamic stretching – so no sitting or standing.
Dynamic stretching is done while moving. It is useful for reducing muscle stiffness and it serves as a double warm up, so if you don’t have time to do both, this can be killing two birds with one stone.
Here are some key elements to dynamic stretching:
- Cover all major muscle groups: Don’t worry only about your knees and joints. Even though you are not using your back for running, you should still prepare it, because it is an important component that helps all the other muscles to work properly.
- Start with low-intensity and build up to high-intensity: Begin slowly and be gradually progressive, but don’t get yourself too tired.
- Finish the stretch with movements similar to your activity.
Remember that dynamic stretching is even more valuable during cold days and outdoor activities because your muscles require extra time to warm up during low temperatures.
Give yourself time to acclimatize
Working out outdoors regardless of whether we are talking about high or low temperatures requires adapting to the environment before you reach your peak performance. Most athletes need about one to two weeks to get accustomed to a certain temperature and air pressure.
Because of that, you should start with short training sessions and then gradually increase the time and the difficulty of the training for a week or two.
Hopefully, these five tips will help you get your body ready for all the challenges Mother Nature will set in front of it. There is nothing more natural and encouraging than working out in an outdoor setting, especially if you are fully equipped for it.