Anytime is a great time of year to take your fitness outdoors! When you take your fitness routine outdoors you reap the mind, body and spirit benefits by immersing yourself in ever-changing landscape, sights, smells, and sounds - all helping to keep boredom at bay while you enjoy your fitness experience. All sounds great, right? But what happens if you start out in 60+ degree weather and it suddenly shifts to the low 50’s? What if you walk out under a sun filled sky changes only to have it suddenly change to wind and rain? Sudden environmental changes can quickly take your outing from fun to frustrating. How can we keep up with Mother Nature's ever changing punches so we can fully enjoy our next outdoor adventure? By being prepared.
Bring along a lightweight jacket. Ever stepped outside into a beautiful sunshine day, sunglasses on, shielded in a layer of sunscreen and ready to tackle the great outdoors....then a few minutes in the wind changes, a few clouds blow in, and before you know it you are stuck in a nice drizzle and chilled to the bone. Some might say “ah, how refreshing!” while others may find themselves frustrated and cold, hastily making their way back. This is where packing a lightweight jacket can come in handy! With the right lightweight, breathable jacket you can keep yourself safe from the elements should the weather suddenly decide to shift directions. There are many lightweight jackets out there - with or without hoods, moisture wicking and breathable, waterproof and rain resistant - so you can decide those features most important to you. Some are even packable, folding themselves up into themselves handy little carrying pouch, or simply wrap that jacket around your waist to keep your hands free.
Throw on a hat. Personally, I rarely venture outdoors for a run, walk or hike without one! Why? Because they help protect my face from elements like the sun, wind, rain and can even help keep sweat from running down my face. The right hat can keep your head warm or cool and it's a lightweight, easy on-the-go solution for most any adventure! Keep a hat handy in your gym bag and/or car so you'll always have one for those spontaneous adventure opportunities. And bonus - you don't have to worry about bad hair days...we've got you covered, literally!
How are your socks? Yes your socks matter! Surprised? The right pair of socks can keep your feet warm or cool, accommodating your adventure as well as the season and weather. From moisture wicking to blister prevention the socks you pick have an important job - to keep you moving forward in comfort! Ever had soaking wet feet sloshing around in your shoes halfway through a hike? How about a nasty blister forming mid run? Feet too hot or too cold? Then you know what I am talking about! You might think having a pair of socks for those fitness activities that complement spring, summer, fall and winter doesn't matter...until you do!
The right pair of shoes. Is your adventure on trail or pavement? Will you be running, hiking, biking or engaging in some sort of fitness training? There are many considerations when it comes to what you put on your feet. From lack of cushion to too much, the type of tread on your soles or investing in water-resistant or breathable moisture wicking there are many attributes to consider. Not sure where to start? Try getting recommendations from folks who do a particular physical activity and the shoes they tend to like best, or scroll through a latest fitness magazine (runners world for example has annual readers choice recommendations), or schedule a time to visit your local athletic shoe store for a custom fit and advice on the best shoe for the job. Most fitness activities have their ideal shoe (i.e. soccer, baseball, basketball, running, hiking, biking, etc.) so determining the right shoe for the activity you are you have chosen in really is an important part of preparing for a great fitness experience.
Bottom line - though it may take a bit of thought and research to prepare, the time and effort are well worth the result - a successful and rewarding outdoor adventure!