5 Tips for Shifting Seasonal Gears in Your Exercise Routine
Now that weather is getting warmer and more enjoyable, we are presented with many more options for staying in shape. No more being restricted to mostly indoor activities!
However, shifting your workouts from a winter-focused routine to something more spring-friendly means you may have to make a few changes to your fitness lifestyle and repertoire.
Here are five considerations you should make before jumping into your new spring and summer regimen.
1. Assess your footwear choices.
Indoor workouts typically involve less overall steps than outdoor alternatives. Cross-training, weightlifting, and high intensity cardio-based workouts usually involve more lateral movements and an increased need for stability.
While sneakers for these types of activities are designed for multi-directional movement and soles tend to be flatter, they are not ideal for outdoor running and walking.
Running shoes, in contrast, are built for heel-to-toe movement and the higher heel drop in running shoes comes from added support and cushioning. Consider purchasing these types of shoes for tracks and runs.
2. Swap out the cotton for something more breathable.
In theory, shorts and a t-shirt should be good enough for most workouts. However, when exercising outdoors in direct sunlight and where temperatures can climb, it’s a good idea to invest in gear that’s designed for the heat.
In fact, the right clothing and workout accessories can help protect you from the sun, minimize your chances of overheating, reduce dehydration, and pretty much just make your hot weather workouts a lot more fun and enjoyable.
Look for clothing options that are nylon, polypropylene, spandex, or bamboo that breathe and wick moisture versus absorbing it like cotton alternatives. Also, consider colors that reflect the sun, and keep an eye out for brands that offer microbial and UV protection.
3. Don’t push too hard at first.
Weightlifting, aerobics, basketball, and running all offer different health benefits and all tax different systems of the body. Needless to say, if during the winter months you scaled back on your running and cardio sessions, it will take your body some time to get back into the swing of things – even if you’ve been working out the whole time lifting weights and hitting the stationary bike.
Don’t hit the pavement trying to get back to last year’s form in one day! Take it a little slower and allow your body to adjust. Don’t worry, it won’t take that long and, if you do it safely, you’ll avoid injuries and setbacks.
This also means that you should build in plenty of time for warm-ups and cool-downs before and after your workouts.
4. Stretch, stretch, stretch.
Nothing can derail your outdoor adventures like a pulled hamstring and the like. Muscles can lose flexibility and elasticity over time so, if you aren’t feeling quite as limber as you did last spring and summer, you’ll need to incorporate plenty of gentle stretching into your routines.
This is true whether you’ve been working out for one day or one decade. Stretching helps to prevent muscle and joint pain and damage, so always stretch it out.
5. Watch the temperatures.
During winter months and in a controlled environment, the dangers of overheating, dehydration, and electrolyte imbalances are greatly reduced. However, during warmer months, especially during the heat of the day, these are very real dangers even for seasoned athletes.
Consider planning your outdoor workouts during the cool of the morning or after the sun starts to subside. If you are unable to do so, just make sure you are well-hydrated when you go out.
The reality is that warmer weather opens up a ton of possibilities to broaden and enrich your fitness plans. Take the time to make the needed adjustments and preparations so you can keep going, have fun, and avoid injury.
Now go get to work and don’t forget: should you need support along your weight loss journey, reach out to your nearest Bee Healthy Clinic location.