Author: Jason Lewis (www.StrongWell.org)
Exercising outdoors can add a lot of fun to your workouts, especially if you live near a beach or large state park that can provide plenty of scenery. However, being outdoors comes with lots of hazards, especially when your body is working overtime to get in shape. It’s important to keep your own safety in mind when you spend any amount of time outside, from making sure you don’t get overheated to being aware of any wild animals in the area.
There are several ways you can prepare, including having the right tools with you for any situation and ensuring that you have everything you’ll need before you leave the house. It’s also helpful to do some research on the area you’ll be working out in so you’ll know what to expect when it comes to animals, terrain, and other factors.
Here are some of the best tips on how to prepare for exercising outdoors.
Do your homework
Before you even leave the house, do some research on the area you’re traveling to just so you’ll be knowledgeable about the area. Check out what kinds of animals are native to the land, what the temperature will be like, what sort of terrain to expect, and how many people frequent the area. If it’s a beach, for instance, knowing how popular it is will help you decide what time to head out there.
Depending on what state you live in, there are several animals you might encounter during your outdoor workout, from cougars to bears. While there are different methods to employ to get these animals to leave you alone, it’s always important to keep a weapon of some sort to help you get away, such as pepper spray or a knife. Never make the animal feel closed in; leave a space for him to evacuate. Don’t run or turn your back; make your movements slow and deliberate to avoid a chase. With many animals, you can make loud noises and raise your arms to appear taller than you are to scare them away.
If you’re interested in seeing what types of animals live in your area while you get in your workout, there are several things you should do to prepare, such as wearing the right clothing–especially if there is hunting going on–and bringing the right tools, such as binoculars. For more tips on how to safely observe wild animals near you, check out this handy guide.
Be aware of your surroundings
It’s tempting to take your headphones along while you’re working out; in fact, most people do. However, if you’re going to be exercising in an unfamiliar place, or if it will be dark when you’re working out, consider leaving the headphones at home. You want to be aware of your surroundings at all times to ensure your safety.
Wear appropriate attire
Dressing for an outdoor workout is very different from dressing for an indoor one. You need to take into consideration what the weather and temperature will be like; if it will be very hot, dress in thin layers that will protect your skin from sunburn but can be removed if you get too warm. Don’t forget that you can still get a sunburn on an overcast day. Wear sunscreen and, if possible, a hat to protect your face.
It’s also important to wear the right shoes for the activity you’ll be performing.
Don’t get dehydrated
It’s very easy to get dehydrated or suffer from heatstroke when you’re working out in the heat, so keep a large bottle of water handy and find shade immediately if you begin to feel dizzy or nauseous. Take a rest in a cool spot and apply a cold compress to your forehead if you feel like you’re heading into heatstroke territory.
Remember that exercising outdoors also means dealing with traffic and other dangers, such as construction sites. Pay attention to where you’re going and always obey the rules of the road when biking or crossing.