We’re already competing with the sun as to who gets home from work faster. It’s doubtful we’ll ever win that race once the clocks roll back this Sunday. (If you haven’t already, mark your calendars for Daylight Saving Time on Nov. 2nd.) However, darkness doesn’t mean you need to take your evening workout indoors. In fact, preserving that fresh air facilitation could be the key to warding off any early winter blues. Research published in the Environmental Science & Technology shows outdoor exercise can significantly increase your energy while decreasing tension and depression. Plus, with temps beginning to cool down, there’s no better time to smile in the name of a mostly sweat-free workout.
From glowing apparel to safety tips and ticks, we’ve got your guide below for keeping your workout al fresco, so no need to head indoors just yet!
1. Move In the Right Direction
When you’re pumping those legs alongside moving cars, the general road rule is to bike with traffic and walk against traffic. This applies to all times of day, but is particularly important for non-daylight hours when drivers will have even more difficulty seeing you. Running against traffic allows cars to see you from afar, and for you to also see when they’re coming so you can move out of the way. To be on the safe side, you should wear reflectors on both sides of your body, but attach an extra one if possible to the front side of your shirt. With biking, you’re generally moving a lot faster than you are when walking/running, so the reaction time for the driver to see you is shortened. This makes it better to move in their same direction, which means, be sure to have a reflector on your bike’s back side.
2. Glow from Head to Toe
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The warm, sunny days of summer are here inviting us to step outside. However, venture out in a 90-degree heat stretch, and it often doesn’t take more than a few steps for our workout-motivation to hit a roadblock. Sweat-drenched and out of breath, the great outdoors can begin to feel not entirely too great when those hot waves start rolling in.
Why does it feel harder to workout in the heat? In summertime temps, your heart must do double duty to keep you up and running (biking, hiking, or even walking). It not only must pump blood to your working muscles but also sends blood to your skin so your body can release internal heat into the environment to help cool itself down. The latter process signals your body to sweat, and as those drops begin to evaporate into the air, will help you feel cooler. However, all of that sweating speeds up your heart rate. It rises three to five beats per minute for every 1% of water loss you experience, making you feel like you’re working out harder than you really are. Profuse sweating also increases your risk for dehydration and heat-related illnesses.
However, if you’re mindful, you needn’t let sizzling temps fizzle out your outdoor workout routines. There are tons of science-backed benefits of exercising outdoors, including everything from increasing energy levels to improving mood to reducing stress, which means you may not want to run inside just yet.
Use the tips below to keep those heat waves from crashing your summer exercise routine.