Outdoor workouts can be extremely fun, and many people are incorporating them into their daily activities in order to stay active and motivated. Biking, hiking, running, skiing, and swimming are just a few of the ways you can exercise outside, but they all come with certain precautions. Safety can be difficult to maintain if you aren’t cautious at all times or are unprepared.

Fortunately, there are several simple ways you can prepare for an outdoor workout. It just takes a bit of planning and research. For instance, making sure you know everything about the area you’ll be heading to is a must, especially if you’re inexperienced. Hiking can be a great way to burn off calories, but if you aren’t familiar with the trails, there’s a possibility you could get lost or injured very easily.

Read on for some of the best tips on how to stay safe and have fun during your outdoor workouts.

Check the Weather Forecast

Exercising outside is very different from exercising in a temperature-controlled room. No matter what the weather is like, you’ll need to take precautions to ensure you don’t dehydrate or get too hot or cold. Bring along a large water bottle to ensure you’ll have access to a drink when you take a break; wear appropriate clothing (light-colored layers are usually best); and make sure you’ll have somewhere to stop and cool off if you get too hot. Outdoor workouts in the summer can be brutal in many parts of the country, and heat exhaustion is a very real danger. If you start to feel dizzy or nauseated, stop what you’re doing immediately and move to the shade. Get a drink of water, but take it slow. If you have access to a cool cloth, put it on your forehead. If the symptoms don’t subside after a few minutes, head to the doctor.

Know Your Surroundings

It’s imperative to know your surroundings and be aware of them at all times. If you’re heading out to a new location or are trying a workout you’ve never done before, take into consideration the fact that you may succumb to injury because you don’t know the lay of the land. This is especially true for hikers and mountain bikers who aren’t familiar with the area they’re exploring. The best way to ensure safety is to do some research beforehand, so look up the area online to find out all you can about it. Be sure to look at maps, what sort of animals live there, and what the terrain is like.

Fuel Up

While you don’t want to eat a huge meal before your workout, it’s important to fuel up beforehand so you’ll be able to keep up your energy levels and prevent muscle exhaustion. Peanut butter, dried fruit, nuts, granola, oatmeal, and whole grains are some great choices, and many of these can be taken with you for snacks later on. 

Eating the right foods before a big workout will not only give you the energy you need, it will also help your blood sugar stay where it needs to be. A sudden drop in those levels while you’re working out can make you feel dizzy, nauseated, or faint.

Watch Out for Animals

No matter where your workout takes place, watch out for wild animals. Whether you’re near the ocean or in the mountains, you not only need to keep yourself safe, but also avoid harming wild animals and their environment. Remember never to take anything from these areas – leave with exactly what you brought with you, especially if you’re in a state park. Don’t provoke animals. If you see one that looks unhappy about your presence, don’t run, as he’ll probably give chase. Instead, make slow, deliberate movements and walk away.

Exercising outdoors is a great way to stay in shape and have fun at the same time. Just remember to make your safety a priority at all times and be aware of what’s going on around you, especially if you’re in a wooded or a high-traffic area. With a little preparation, you can have a great day of fitness in the sunshine.

Photo: Pixabay