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.
While it’s not possible to predict for certain the final outcome of the Superbowl game, you can guarantee a win for your body. Take some conscious steps before and during game-day celebrations, and you can be sure to feel like a champion, no matter how the game plays out.
Don’t believe me? Think of it this way: feeling physically good when the 4th quarter concludes will make a win from your favorite team feel that much better. And if your team loses? Walking around the following day with a headache and a sense of heaviness will only make that loss feel worse.
Stick to these simple tips to keep it healthy on Superbowl Sunday, and wake up the next morning a winner.
Wake up and work it out: Fit in some of your own on-field running before the social festivities begin. Starting the day off right can set a healthy tone for the remainder of your day. Hit the gym. Take a run. Go to a yoga class. You name the exercise of your desire. The key is to get moving before hours of TV time follow and tempting snacks fill the room. Then head into an afternoon of watching others sprint their butts off, knowing you’ve already sweated it out yourself.
Get cookin’, good-lookin’: Superbowl parties tend to be filled with lots of calorie-heavy snacks. While you can’t stop your friend from bringing his favorite 7-layer-burrito dip, you can make sure to show up with a healthy side of your own. Guarantee there’s at least one nutritious and delicious option on the table by cooking up your own touch-down treat. For some ideas to get started, check out FitSugar’s roundup of lightened up SuperBowl fare.
Utilize the water cooler: There’s nothing like kicking back with a beer once the first kickoff goes down. If planning to consume a brew or two, however, make sure to be mindful of moderation and to alternate with water. Make a goal to consumer one full glass per quarter. And when you’re feeling thirsty, reach for a glass of H20 first before allowing yourself to have a beer. This will keep you conscious of how much alcohol you are consuming throughout the evening so that Monday morning isn’t clouded by a hazy fog and your own bloated stomach. (Also take a peek at what Men’s Health list of top recommended low-cal Beers, here.)
Fumble away certain foods: Football players on average consume 3,000-7,000 calories per day.There will undoubtedly be some food on the table that’s best left to the other players around you. (Although, we recommend you encourage them to eat healthily with you, too.) Don’t drop the ball on your body by filling up on unhealthy choices. Instead, try to steer clear of fried foods, and opt to fill at least 3/4’s of your plate with options from the veggie plate or fruit bowl. Save the last 1/4 for a treat of your choice, and eat slowly to fully savor it. Also, be weary of dips, which are often mayonnaise or cream cheese laden and filled with a surprising amount of calories. The 150 added calories from a can of soda is also an easy option to sidestep.
Get up and cheer: To combat too much couch-sitting, get up and root from your feet ever so often. Designate commercial breaks as a time to hop up and move around. Grab a glass of water, or simply walk around the room a bit. During game-play, let someone else have your chair for a few minutes and sit down on the floor and stretch. Every bit of movement counts.
Walk and talk: Consider asking your friends/family to take a walk with you and continue enjoying the time with those around you. Get some fresh air by walking around the neighborhood. Use it as a time to exchange thoughts about the game or catch up on what’s in store for next week. A post-game stroll is a good way to wake back up, get your energy flowing, and walk off some of that food and drinking from the afternoon. Hit the streets so you can send yourself home feeling refreshed.
Hit the water cooler (again): Just like your favorite team’s players, you should revisit the water cooler throughout the day, and make sure to rehydrate post-game. Superbowl food is often salty, and alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it interferes with the balance of salts and water in the blood and can cause dehydration. This is what triggers headaches, hangovers and fatigue. Stay pumped up by fueling up with extra water.