Fall is here and that means a change for people who exercise outside – whether that means additional layers of clothing or fewer hours of daylight to run, walk or bike. Wearing the right gear is important to your outdoor workout and can make a difference in your performance.
Here are some tips to help you continue your outdoor exercise for the next few months:
- With the sun coming up later and going down earlier, it’s more important than ever to be visible to drivers. Wear reflective clothing or consider adding a blinking light to your shoes, hat or bike. Remember to follow the rules of the road – if you’re running or walking, go in the opposite direction of traffic and if on your bike, ride in the direction of traffic.
- Layers are your friend when it comes to working out in cooler temperatures. When starting out, it may be a bit cold, but as your body temperature heats up, that extra sweatshirt no longer seems like a good idea. With layers, keep them light and make sure they’re easy to remove and carry as needed. As temperatures get even colder, a good base is definitely a necessity since it traps in your body heat.
- Choose the right shoes. If you plan to continue walking or running outside year-round, choose a pair with plenty of tread so the shoes can easily grasp the surface, even if it’s wet or covered with snow.
- Wear sweat-wicking fabrics whenever possible. Clothing technology continues to advance and these types of shirts, socks, pants and more draw the sweat away from your body. Also look for wind-resistant fabrics as well since those can also make your run, walk or ride more pleasant.
- Don’t forget your extremities. Add gloves to protect your hands and either two layers of socks or a nice, warm single pair to help your feet stay warm.
- Add a hat since a lot of your body’s heat escapes through your head. If riding a bike, look for a ski mask-type hat that will fit well under a helmet.
Even as the temperature drops, it’s vital to stay hydrated during your outdoor exercise since you are still losing fluids via sweat. You won’t need as much water as on a hot summer day, but you’ll still need fluids so you don’t become dehydrated.
With the right gear and mindset, you can keep your outdoor running and biking regiments going strong all year round.
Kayla Pfeiffer is a licensed athletic trainer with ThedaCare Orthopedic Care at ThedaCare Medical Center-New London.