While hitting the gym is the obvious option for people who want to work out, sometimes that’s not possible. But that doesn’t mean you have to skip your workouts. 

Instead, you can take them outside. 

Exercising outside is a way to keep up your fitness, get some fresh air, and enjoy a bit of nature while you’re doing it.

If that sounds good, you might be the perfect candidate to take some of your workouts outdoors, but before you do, realize there are a few guidelines and tips for exercising outside that you should follow.

Here’s what you need to know.

Dress for the Weather

mountain landscape during sunrise

While it’s totally fine to hit the gym in your building in shorts and a tee-shirt in the dead of winter, that’s not going to work when you’re outside.

So you always want to make sure you are dressing for the weather. That might mean investing in some clothes that have moisture-wicking built-in. You can also work on wearing at least a few layers, especially if it’s a cold or rainy day.

Stay Seen

Another part of exercising outside is making sure you are visible to everyone else. If you plan to work out at night or in the early morning hours wear something bright and colorful so others can see you.

If you don’t want to go full fluorescent with your workout gear, consider grabbing hand or ankle reflectors or wearing a lightweight reflector vest to announce your presence. 

Keep Your Distance

This can be harder to do if you’re exercising in busier areas, but it’s just more considerate (and healthy) to keep some distance from others while you work out. 

Don’t weave in and out of people as you jog, especially on busy sidewalks. Instead, it’s fine to move to the street and jog against traffic so drivers can see you. Keep a respectful distance where you can.

Tell a Friend

close up of two men running on an outdoor path

You can never be too safe, right? And that’s true while working out, especially if you like to do it in less populated areas. While the vast majority of the time everything will be fine you don’t want to get stuck if you twist an ankle on a rock. 

So, have a friend or family member who you do a quick check-in with before you head out. Let them know where you’re going and for approximately how long, and then when you return just give them a heads-up that you’re all good.

Switch it Up

Just like you’d vary your workout in a gym, legs one day, cardio the next, you can do the same while you’re exercising outdoors. Take advantage of being outside!

If you’re a runner that can mean trying new spots around the neighborhood. Or, if you just want cardio in general, try running and biking. You can also invest in a few portable weights, like a kettlebell, and add those to the mix.

Stay Hydrated

pink reusable water bottle on the sidewalk

Of course, it’s always important to stay hydrated when you’re working out. So grab a portable water bottle that you can bring with you on your adventures.