As usual, the Atlanta summer was a scorcher! If you are like me, you moved your workouts inside to avoid the extreme temperatures. However, good weather is just around the corner and it’s time to head back outside! One huge mistake people make this time of the year is assuming their workouts indoors versus outdoors have to be identical. It is a good idea to make some changes to your routine when heading outside in order to get the most out of your work out!
When you’re heading back outside for cardio, it is important to change your biomechanics. If you have been running on the treadmill for the past few months, your entire body has adapted to running on a flat surface. Regardless of the incline you set the treadmill, the surface from right to left is completely flat. Now that you’re hitting the trails and the streets for your jogs, the ground is going to be uneven, slanted, and potentially full of tree roots and potholes. This causes you to use different muscles in your feet and legs that have been pretty dormant over the summer. Whatever mileage you were running on the treadmill, cut it in half when you hit the outdoors. Stick with this plan for 1-2 weeks until your body has adapted to the uneven and changing running surfaces.
Use your environment! Working out outside should be fun; you are finally free from the typical Elliptical and dumbbell workouts. Are you near stairs? Knock out 5 sets of running up and down with 20 air squats in between. See a park bench? Alternate stepping up and down from the bench 20 times with 10 inclined push-ups for 3-5 rounds. This is your time to improvise and use the “equipment” we walk past every day.
You don’t have to stick to a rigid schedule, workout when you can. We constantly make the false assumption that our workouts have to be an hour we dedicate solely to exercise, but that is not the case! To get the benefits of exercise, you need to move a certain amount during the day. That does not mean it all has to happen at once! If you don’t have an hour or two in the day to dedicate to exercise, then split it up. If the temperature is cooling off, start parking in the furthest spot from the office and enjoy the longer walk to start your day. Thinking of going to lunch with the team? Pick a café down the street that you can all walk to together.
Workouts don’t have to be work. Get creative! The upcoming fall weather is a great excuse to get outside and there are plenty of great places in and around the city to go. So, take advantage of your surroundings, switch up your workout, and stay active.