"Working out outdoors is a great way to vary your training environment (different terrain, various weather elements) and stimulate your senses," says Jenna Arndt, certified run coach and vice president of fitness programming at SWERVE Fitness. "It’s also a great way to explore new areas, whether that be on a new running route, breathing in fresh air doing yoga, or a bootcamp at a park."
But because working out in 90 degree heat usually sounds a lot more glamorous than it is in reality, we teamed up with The Vitamin Shoppe® to ask Arndt for her tips on how to thrive during outdoor summer workouts. Her biggest piece of advice? Prepare your body, which means getting adequate rest, hydration, and fuel.
"Fueling is important both before and after a workout," Arndt says. "A healthy snack will help with your performance and energy during, and aid in your recovery and muscle protein synthesis after. Refueling after a workout should ideally happen within around 30 minutes, so having a snack on hand is key."
If you're looking for an on-the-go option that packs plenty of protein, ONE Bars are gluten-free and come in tons of fun flavors, like the new ONE limited edition S'Mores that's essentially dessert and fuel in one. And let's be honest, what's more summery than s'mores?
Keep scrolling for more expert tips on how to actually love your outdoor summer workouts.
1. Ask a friend
What better excuse do you need to text the group chat for an IRL hang than some sunshine-filled endorphins? "Having a workout buddy always helps to keep me in check, accountable, and motivated," Arndt says. "Plus, we’ll end up smiling, laughing, and having such a great time—even the most demanding exercises seem to fly by." Friends who burn through a few rounds of squats together, stay together.
2. Pack the right gear
From an hour-long yoga session to an all-day hike, every outdoor summer workout requires the correct gear to ensure you're prepared for what the day brings. Depending on your plans, Arndt's shortlist of must-haves are sunscreen, a hat, towel, identification, headphones, a camera, water, and snacks.
Her go-to backpack bites? Bars, because she says you can get both protein and carbs in one. "Because there are so many bars on the market, I look for natural ingredients and low sugar," she says. "I love ONE Bars because they taste good and are more like a treat to eat." Plus, each bar contains 20 grams of protein with only one gram of sugar, so they easily check off Arndt's workout fuel criteria.
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3. Set a goal and commit to it
One of the best ways to motivate yourself through outdoor summer workouts, according to Arndt, is to set realistic-but-doable goals, like signing up for a race, booking an out-of-town hike, or enrolling in a charity walk. "I stay the most committed to my training when I’ve signed up for a [running] race," Arndt says.
For the workouts themselves, Arndt likes breaking them down into achievable short-term intervals to keep her focused throughout her entire session. "Playing great music and running affirmations and mantras through my head helps too," she says.
4. Be mindful of the time
Even with all the preparation, you still want to be aware of when you decide to head out on your trek. Heat and humidity hit everyone differently, so Arndt emphasizes the importance of listening to your body and taking a rest day if the temperature is a little too high.
"As a general rule, in the hotter months, seek activities that are early or late in the day," she says, since peak heat usually hits from noon to 2 p.m. Better start checking the weather and packing your bag—you've got some outdoor workouts to start, dare we say, enjoying.
*Offer valid 06/28/2021 through 07/11/2021. Discount taken off price of second item of equal or lesser value.
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