Taking your workout outside? Benjamin Greene, MD, an adult and pediatric sports medicine specialist with ONS says it’s a great idea. “In addition to improving overall cardiovascular fitness and health, it can reduce stress, improve mood and self-esteem, and help combat mental fatigue,” he says.
But before you head out, mind these tips:
Prep for the heat. “Engaging in long, intense workouts in hot and humid weather before you are properly acclimated can lead to dehydration, heat exhaustion and, in severe cases, heat stroke,” Greene explains. He recommends starting with shorter and lighter workouts and then up the duration and intesity from there. “This will allow your body time to adjust to the higher temperatures and reduce your risk of heat-related illness,” he says. Also: Skip midday workouts and stay hydrated.
Watch certain surfaces. Road and concrete surfaces can be harder on your body and increase injury risk, says Greene. “Whenever possible, opt for trail or track running to soften your steps and decrease the forces through your joints,” he advises.
Change directions. “Consistently running the same direction on banked surfaces can also predispose to injury, so be sure to mix it up,” says Greene, who also recommends the right footwear.