By ERIN KELLY
The idea that exercise is ‘good’ for us has been ingrained in our brains since elementary school P.E. class — along with a solid understanding of the rules of kickball. But did you know that the outdoors can also do wonders for your health? Research shows that spending time outside can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, while also helping you sleep better.
It sounds like everyone could use a little more outdoors time — and I don’t mean drinking on patios. In fact, I’ve decided to take my gym routine outdoors this summer, and I think you should join me! Think about it: Not only is there a $0 initiation fee, but every time you get a butt-kicking workout, you’ll also be soaking in the benefits of nature and breathing fresh air.
Not sure where to start? We teamed up with Cotton to find the best tips for taking your gym routine outside, and recommend the best products that make it easier to step out the door.
Turning the world into your gym sounds cool, but how do you actually do it? The trick is to find a fitness regimen you like enough to keep coming back for more. Always been a treadmill runner? Take your routine to the streets or a nearby track. If you’ve historically gravitated towards strength training, working out in a local park with a playground provides plenty of benches for tricep dips, bars for chin-ups, and platforms for box jumps. And if you’ve always loved your local indoor cycling class, think about investing in a bike that can actually take you places.
Finally, downloading fitness apps like Nike+ Training Club, Aaptiv, and NEOU makes it easy to search for simple and effective workout routines on-the-go that you can do anywhere. By planning ahead and finding your fitness calling, you’ll be able to shut down any excuses that interfere with your fitness goals as soon as they pop up.
Taking your gym routine outdoors means taking on the elements, rain or shine. This can be especially difficult on hot and sunny days when your gym would have the AC on blast. Rather than perish in pools of your own sweat (sorry for the gross visual), why not stock up on breathable cotton activewear instead?
Designed to keep you cool and comfortable even on the stickiest and sweatiest of days, cotton is a hypoallergenic and incredibly comfortable fabric that won’t irritate your skin. Perhaps my favorite thing about cotton activewear is that the fibers are strong and durable, and the fabric doesn’t retain odors. Win-win-win!