Outdoor Exercise Safety Tips
Spring is just around the corner and we all want to get outside to enjoy the sunshine. Right now is a great time to start that New Year’s resolution to lose a few pounds and return to an exercise program that you enjoy.
Walking, jogging or running outdoors on a sunny day is much more relaxing and enjoyable than indoors on a treadmill. When you are preparing for outdoor activity, it is best to refresh your memory about warming up the body and proper hydration while outside.
Importance of Warming Up and Cooling Down
- When starting an outside activity, take 5 to 10 minutes to warm up your body before the activity. Your blood flow will increase to your muscles therefore, loosening them up.
- When your muscles are more flexible, you will reduce the risk of stiffness that could lead to an injury.
- Focus warm-up on stretching and mild aerobics to get your blood pumping.
- Following the activity, it is equally important to take 5 to 10 minutes to cool down, this will help slow your heart rate to its normal resting rate.
- You can walk for your cool down and be sure to complete a few stretches as well.
- Hydration is important. If you participate in an activity outdoors, you need to make sure you are properly hydrating.
- If not properly hydrated, your muscles will not be at their best and you may experience cramping and other negative side effects.
- Water helps the body heal quicker and perform at an optimal level.
- One of the key things to remember is proper hydration needs to happen throughout the day.
- Make sure to try and drink 64 ounces of water per day. Consider drinking more if the heat/humidity is higher or if you are at a higher elevation.
- Depending on how much you sweat when active, you will need to bump up your hydration to make up for lost water.