Finally feels like spring - yea! Use this beautiful spring weather to renew your motivation to increase physical activity to promote a lower blood pressure.
It's great to be able to move your physical activity routine outdoors after a long winter of indoor exercise. However, you need to keep a few things in mind so you are prepared and do not injure yourself.
Here are some tips to get outside and enjoy the spring weather which can re-energize you on your journey to heart health.
1. Don't overdo it.
A common problem at the start of the spring season is to go full throttle once you step outside. Instead you need to give yourself a week or two to re-acclimatize to an outdoor workout. An outdoor workout, such as jogging, stresses the body differently than jogging on a treadmill. Let your body adjust. If you push too hard right away you increase your risk for injury.
2. Dress for the weather.
Spring time temperatures fluctuate drastically. It can be very chilly in the morning and evenings and possibly hot mid-day. Dress in layers, such as short sleeve shirts with a lightweight jacket, so you can easily add or shed layers as needed.
3. Bring fluids with you.
As you head outdoors a water fountain won't be a few steps away. You'll need to prepare ahead and have water bottles ready to grab as you head out the door. The warmer spring weather makes keeping your body hydrated that much more of an issue.
4. Invest in good equipment.
Did you know it's recommended to replace gym shoes every 3-6 months? Take a look at the shoes you've been wearing all winter and decide if it's time for a replacement. Good shoes are worth the investment as they help prevent injury.
5. Research local options.
Contact your local parks and recreation office to learn about different activities in your area. It may be fun to get a group of friends together for a softball or volleyball team this spring. It's important to keep your activity fun, so you stick with it for the long term. Recreation programs offer a great opportunity to combine social time with activity.
6. Map out a walking/jogging path in your neighborhood.
If being active is new for you, you may not know your options for being active outside. Visit local parks and check out walking/bike paths in your town. If you find a route you like, you could even hop in your car to measure the distance so you have a good idea how the route compares to your gym workout.
If you have a suggestion for getting outside to enjoy the spring weather while getting in your regular physical activity I'd love to hear it. Feel free to share below!