I live in Los Angeles, which means that I’m fortunate enough to have pretty much perfect weather all year long.
We occasionally get some rain, but it’s never really too cold to go on a hike or a jog, and you can probably imagine how much sunshine we get in SoCal. I’m saying this not to brag, but because I know that in a lot of the country the return of springtime means that a lot of people who’ve been cooped up all winter are finally hitting tracks and trails and taking their workouts outdoors. Honestly, I’m pumped for them—nothing beats an outdoor workout.
If you’re a runner getting back in the saddle after a long, cold winter, there are a few things you have to keep in mind. First, pay special attention to your footwear. Running on a treadmill is great when it’s too dark or cold to take an after-work run, but it also wears your tread down differently than what you’ll experience outdoors.
The other thing you’ll notice right away is that you’ll have to push yourself instead of simply letting the speed of a conveyor belt determine how quickly you need to move your legs and pump your arms. Also, and it’s something on my mind as a transplant to LA, always make sure that you’re using sunscreen that’s been created for athletes. It’ll make sure you’re protecting yourself from UV rays, and it’ll also withstand some of the sweat you’ll be producing on the run.
If you’re a hiker, you will probably want to follow a lot of the same tips, but there are obviously special concerns for you, too. I think the biggest challenge with hiking can be what to wear and how to outfit yourself properly. Depending on where you live and the height of the mountain you’re hiking, you’ll probably encounter a variety of temperatures, sunshine, shade and wind speed during the trip.
Nowadays, there are all sorts of companies that make breathable fabrics that help trap in heat when you need it and let the air cool you down when you don’t. I also love the cargo pants that have zip-away legs so that they can easily turn into shorts when you’re feeling overheated—they’re super-lightweight, which makes them easy to stow away.
No matter what outdoor activities you’re looking forward to with the return of warm weather and longer days, you might want to consider making a new tradition this year to make your workouts even more efficient. Even if you’re just taking a brisk walk, you can definitely feel the benefits of using the O2 Trainer right away. Tests done with the O2 Trainer showed a slight increase in red blood cells and participants also increased their inventilatory muscles. But also, this great tool is proven to be an effective stress reliever. When you combine that with the natural endorphins you get from working out and spending more time in the sun, well, there’s even more to look forward to as winter gives way to spring.