8 Common Outdoor Exercising Mistakes to Avoid for Beginners
Are you looking to incorporate more outdoor workouts into your exercise routine? Working out offers a wide range of benefits. When you work out in the outdoors, those benefits practically double. This is because spending time outside is associated with lower risks of diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, mental duress, and myopia. Exercising comes with a lot of these same benefits, which is why exercising outside can be transformative for your mental and physical health. But, before you start exercising outside, there are some outdoor exercising mistakes you need to know.
Check out this guide to discover the top outdoor exercising mistakes that you need to avoid.
1. Not Dressing for the Weather
Dressing inappropriately for the weather is one of the biggest mistakes people making when exercising outdoors. There’s a reason the athletic apparel industry is so massive- most of the clothing items are essential for completing an effective and safe workout.
This is even more so the case if you’re exercising outdoors. Let’s look at how you can dress appropriately for the weather.
During the summer months, it’s best to wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing. Look for fabrics made from cotton blends, as these are the best at wicking moisture and preventing smelly clothes.
However, even in the heat of the summer, you’ll want to be careful about exposing too much skin when exercising. If you’re wearing shorts and a tank top, you’re increasing your risk of mosquito bites and sunburns, so you’ll want to be extra vigilant if you choose to wear this type of outfit.
Also, think about the kind of workout you’re going to be doing before you choose your summer workout gear. If you’re going to be doing burpees and other exercises that have you getting down and dirty in the grass, then you’ll likely want to wear leggings that cover your knees.
During the winter and fall, one of the biggest mistakes people make is not wearing enough layers. Even though you may be thinking it’s better to wear less so you can stay cool, not wearing enough layers means that your muscles won’t be able to properly warm up.
If your muscles aren’t properly warmed up, it’ll be harder to get in an effective workout. Plus, you increase your chance of injury.
When working outside in the winter and fall, it’s best to layer up. If you get too warm, you can always take some layers off. We suggesting wearing tight-fitting, wicking materials to keep you warm and dry, such as silk, Thermax, polyester, or polypropylene.
Also, remember a hat, gloves, and warm socks. If you’re going to be working out in the snow or rain, you also want to make sure that your shoes have the right amount of traction to prevent you from slipping or falling.
2. Not Drinking Enough Water
Another mistake people making when exercising outdoors is forgetting to drink. enough water. If you’re waiting until you’re thirsty to drink water, chances are, you’re already dehydrated.
Also, keep in mind that if you’re exercising in the sun, you’re going to need more water than usual. This is because your body uses extra water to regulate your temperature.
When you’re dehydrated, fatigue sets in and makes it more difficult for you to properly perform your workout. Plus, there’s the danger of fainting or having a heat stroke.
So, don’t wait until you’re back home to hydrate. Instead, bring a water bottle with you and hydrate as you go. If you find carrying a water bottle to be cumbersome, then you can invest in an exercise belt or pouch to hold your water.
3. Forgetting to Wear Sunscreen
Exercising outside can improve your heart, lungs, liver, and brain. But, if you’re not careful, it can do serious damage to another very important organ- your skin.
Your skin is actually the largest organ in your body, and protecting it is of utmost importance. Protecting your skin by wearing sunscreen helps prevent skin cancer, wrinkles, and bad sunburns.
Even if it’s cloudy or cold outside, you should still wear sunscreen, as harmful UV rays can still seep into your skin. We suggest wearing a sports sunscreen, as these are specially formulated to resist sweat and moisture.
Also, remember that you need to apply your sunscreen every couple of hours. So, if you’re going for a long hike or planning to spend the whole day outside, you’ll definitely want to bring some sunscreen with you.
4. Holding Yourself to the Same PRs
You may find that when you’re exercising outside, your mile times are slower, you can’t do as many burpees, and your general ability to perform at peak efficiency is just a bit off.
However, you can’t hold yourself to the same standards when exercising outside as you do inside. This is because when exercising outside, you have the elements to deal with. For example, when running, the heat, wind, traffic, elevation, and terrain may all be slowing you down. If you’re running inside on a treadmill in a perfectly conditioned 65-degree gym, you don’t have to worry about any of these factors.
So, if you notice that your times are a little slower, this is probably why. Instead of getting disappointment, just set different goals for your outdoor workouts that are realistic.
5. Forgetting to Warm Up
Another common mistake people make when exercising outside is forgetting to warm up. Just because it’s warm outside doesn’t mean that your muscles are properly warmed up and ready to go.
You should go through the same warm-up routine outside as you would inside. During the winter months, you may want to make your warm-up routine even longer to account for the colder weather.
The warm-up routine you do will depend on your workout, but it may include:
- Jumping jacks
- High knees
- Leg swings
- Arm circles
- Bodyweight squats
Also, don’t forget to cool down from your workout with some light stretching and walking.
6. Forgetting to Plan Your Route/Routine
Many of us get so exciting at the prospect of exercising outdoors that we step outside without any plan in place.
While it’s fine to go with the flow every once in a while, you should try to have the same discipline with your outdoor exercise regime as you do with your indoor one.
If you plan to go for a three-mile run, plan your route out before you go outside. Make note of congested traffic areas and possible reroutes.
If you’re planning on doing a circuit or weight lifting workout, double-check that you have all the gear you need before leaving home. Also, it’s a good idea to plan out your reps, sets, and time you need to complete the workout beforehand. This way, you won’t get distracted by the great outdoors and start slacking on your routine.
7. Not Paying Attention to Your Environment
When exercising outdoors, it’s also very important that you pay attention to your environment.
In a controlled environment like the gym, it’s a lot easier to keep your focus. There’s less to distract you with and fewer environmental factors to worry about.
When you’re exercising outside, there are all kinds of distractions, from cars to pedestrians to pretty views. If you’re not paying attention to what you’re doing, you risk getting lost or injured.
You may find that in order to pay better attention outside, you need to limit your distractions. For example, if you’re getting acquainted with a new running route, you may want to avoid playing music or having your headphones in the first couple of times.
This way, you watch out for potholes or other barriers. If you’re trying a new hiking route, you may want to bring a compass with you or do the hike with a friend the first time through.
8. Forgetting Important Safety Measures
Last but not least, you can’t forget important safety measures when exercising outdoors. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Avoid exercising outside at night if possible
- If you do exercise outside at night, wear reflective clothing
- Play your music at a low volume so you can pay attention to your surroundings
- When biking, wear a helmet, make sure your tires are full, and attach a reflective light to your bike if cycling at night
- Avoid exercising outside during the hottest point of the day, between 10 am and 2 pm
- Check the weather before heading outside
- Always let someone know where you’re going and when you’ll be back, even if it’s just for a run around the block
- Bring a charged cell phone with you so you can call for help if you need it
- Pay attention to COVID restrictions (some parks and outdoor public areas are closed)
These tips will help ensure that your workout is both safe and enjoyable.
Outdoor Exercising Mistakes: Time to Get Your Workout On
Now that you know about the top outdoor exercising mistakes, you’ll be better prepared for the great outdoors. Pretty soon, you’ll be an outdoor workout pro.
Also, keep in mind that in order to have the most effective outdoor workouts, you need to fuel your body properly. One way to fuel your body is with supplements. Check out our supplement store today to discover the right supplements for your outdoor workout routine.