Making the Most of Summer: 3 Outdoor Cardio Tips

Making the Most of Summer: 3 Outdoor Cardio Tips

For fitness procrastinators, the weeks heading into August can often signify the ultimate "better late than never" push when hoping to kick off a summer fitness plan. With summer winding down sooner than later, many motivations are often put to the test.

With days of warm weather waning, it's understandable to want to make the most of those good climates while you can— after all, who wants to wait until next year for the weather to be nice again? Unless you'll be spending all of your time in a gym, the odds are solid that you won't want to take on a new running habit in harsh rain or snow.

Because of this, many beginners can often hit the August/September pavement in a hurry, and end up making a handful of rookie mistakes. Below, we've put together a list of some of the most noteworthy mistakes to avoid, pro tips to keep in mind when starting out, and more. And don't fret— these tips are applicable even for those who kick off their cardio plans closer to Thanksgiving than Independence Day.

The Sun Isn't a Sauna

One common mistake among beginners is to equate being hard on themselves to their gains— while this can often be true when it comes to dead-lifts and long distance sprints, it's important to not mistake motivating yourself with hurting yourself —deliberately overheating yourself on excessively hot days, for example, can hinder your progress in more ways than one.

Be sure to avoid excess exposure to intense sun when you're exercising, and don't take the application of sunscreen and proper attire lightly. In addition, you're going to want to pay extra care to your hydration, as intense cardio can be one of the quickest ways to dehydrate yourself— combining those intense workouts with a 90 degree day is no joke.

Swimming is a Great Call

Assuming you know how to swim, taking advantage of any opportunities to hit the pool can be a great use of your time (and effort) when it comes to summer recreation. In addition to ranking among the most effective overall cardio exercises, 30 minutes or more of swimming can be an easy and effective way to target multiple muscle groups at once.

There's a reason many gym rats hold the "swimmer's physique" in high regard— looking like you belong on a beach usually starts with making intended use of your swimsuit.

While it's true that you can always hit up indoor pools during the colder months of the year, why not take advantage of the weather when you can? Your body will thank you for the Vitamin D and fresh air.

Don't Start Running on the Wrong Foot

Many first-timers kick off their cardio plans without much research— it's nice out, so you slip on a comfortable pair of shoes and hit the road. But should you put extra thought into your choice of attire?

If you're going to be doing a lot of running, it can be a very good idea to look into shoes that are customized to support your running style, arches, foot width, and more— all factors that play into your form factor when doing intense cardio, and can help to prevent avoidable sprains, tendon damage, and more over time. A pair of shoes fit for walking around the city might not be the best call when running a few miles.