From the Gym to Mother Nature

Now that spring has sprung in the Midwest, it’s time to start doing workouts outside rather than having to be cooped up in the gym. Here are some tips for working out safely as well as a couple of outdoor workout options.

Running Outdoors

When running at night make sure to wear reflective gear such as a yellow safety vest or even a blinking light. This is important so that when cars are driving past they can clearly see you. Do not wear black when running or walking at night. They make lights that can attach to your shoes, or even something like a headlight would work. They are hands-free and will help keep you safe.

Another good safety tip for running at all outdoors is to have a running buddy. This not only means you will not be alone, but you will also have someone to talk to and push you through your jog.

Hiking

Hiking can be a super fun workout activity when the weather is nice. If you decide to go on a hike make sure you are well prepared, especially for weather changes. Even if it is a nice sunny day, you never know when the weather may decide to change. Make sure to pack appropriate gear such as extra socks, warmer layers of clothes, and a plastic rain poncho that can easily be packed into any size bag.

Another important hiking tip is to bring plenty of water and food. You want to make sure you stay hydrated, as well as keeping up your energy level. Granola bars are a simple and small option to pack into your bag. If you are hiking a new trail that you are not familiar with, it is especially important to bring extra food and water in case the hike takes longer than you imagined it would. A compass, paper map, and walkie talkie are also good options, especially when you are not familiar with the trail.

Outdoor Events

Finding fun outdoor events in your area are always a good change of pace. Here in Wisconsin they have the Bubble Run, Color Run, Terrain Races, and Tough Mudder. Some of these events are nationwide, and other are local only. A quick search on Google can turn up the fun runs, walks, or other exercise related events in your area. You could try them out with your friends, family, or just by yourself. It will a good substitute for your normal everyday workout routine and a good change of pace!

Who Else Wants to Enjoy Their Workouts?

When people say they love working out, you always ask about their routine…and it turns out to be crazy. So crazy that if you tried it you would surely die. The first thing I ask is ‘how can you enjoy that?’. At first, they didn’t. They hated it but they stayed focused on their goal, walking away from each workout with a major sense of accomplishment. And now, it is like breathing. However, in those grueling early days, there were a few things to help them get through to the next day.


Setting the Mood

Finding the right music for your workouts is important. It helps you get into the mindset of ‘yes, I can do this’ and gives you a positive outlook. It does not have to be one specific type of genre either. Country, pop, rock, heavy metal, it all depends on your personal preferences.

I have a mixed playlist for different types of workout days. I like to listen to different music depending on the type of exercise I will be doing. For example, if I am running that day, I like to listen to songs that keep me running and that are upbeat. While if I am lifting weights, I like to listen to hard core songs that empower me to keep me going until the end of the workout. Some of my favorite workout songs are:

Running

  • Classic- MKTO
  • Finesse- Cardi B
  • Pretty Girl- Maggie Lindemann
  • FRIENDS- Marshmello and Anne-Marie
  • 90’s Country- Walker Hayes
  • Why Wait- Rascal Flatts

Weights

  • Eye of the Tiger- Survivor
  • We are the Champions- Queen
  • Radioactive- Imagine Dragons
  • Bad at Love- Halsey
  • Gunpowder and Lead- Miranda Lambert
  • Before He Cheats- Carrie Underwood

Floor Cardio

  • Better When I’m Dancing- Meghan Trainor
  • Sorry, Not Sorry- Demi Lovato
  • No Excuses- Meghan Trainor
  • Don’t You Worry Child- Swedish House Mafia
  • T-shirt- Thomas Rhett
  • T-R-O-U-B-L-E – Travis Tritt


Buddy System

A lot of times the hardest part about getting into a healthy lifestyle is finding the motivation to do so. If you are able to find someone who is willing to work out with you, you will always have someone to hold you accountable for getting in that workout or going to the gym every day. If there is someone else involved, you are less likely to just put the gym off or say “I’ll do it tomorrow”. Having a workout buddy also makes the workout itself much more enjoyable, you can have someone to talk to and also new ideas for workouts!


Know Your Limits

There will be those die-hard gym people and are normally the first thing you see when you walk into the gym. How can you not? The girl squatting an amount of weight that would break your legs or the guy full out sprinting on the treadmill for the past twenty minutes. But remember, they did not get there overnight. There are people who go in and automatically go above and beyond what their body is capable of at that point in time. It does more harm than good.

Start out easy. Yes, compared to those gym beasts, it will look so simple that a child could do it but it is essential.

Focus on Yourself. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else at the gym. Everyone, there is at different levels and has different end goals. Do what works for you, and never feel like you’re not working as hard as anyone else there. You are there working out and that’s what matters.

Water. Water. Water. It speaks for itself, stay hydrated in order to prevent muscle cramping, pains, spasms, or slowed growth. Drinking plenty of water can also clean out toxins from your body which will help with natural weight loss.

Set goals. It will help you track your progress along the way. However, setting them weekly or bi-weekly is better than day to day. You won’t see an overnight difference, other than sore muscles. So maybe for the first week(s), your goal would be to run for five minutes out of your total cardio time.

What’re your must-have songs for your workout playlists? Share them in the comments along with any other workout tips you have!