Take your workout outside

Monday January 25, 2021
Rideau Canal

We know that this lockdown is difficult and can be frustrating. While we patiently await the reopening of facilities, we suggest taking your workout outdoors! We miss the gym too but there are so many great ways to adapt your typical routine and move it outside.

Tips to help smooth the transition to outdoor workouts:

  • Add a few extra layers. This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s most important so that you don’t get cold and can enjoy your time outside! According to Priya Narine, Certified Track and Field Coach and personal trainer, there are three essential layers to consider when gearing up for your outdoor workout:
    • The base layer- absorbs moisture and sweat to keep your body dry and warm.
    • The mid layer- keeps you nice and warm
    • The outer layer- lets moisture escape while also blocking wind and water
  • Consider the temperature. Typically, it is coldest in the morning; therefore avoid the morning chill and exercise in the afternoon.  To learn the science behind why the morning is colder, read this article by the Ottawa Citizen. You can also choose to workout on days that are forecasted to be warmer and stick to indoor workouts the other days! Variety is good!
  • Go easy on yourself. The wind and snow mean things may feel different outside than in the toasty gym. Start with a walk or a few light exercises and build intensity progressively.
  • Be flexible! You don’t have to focus on bringing your current workout outside. Instead, find a new way to be active in the outdoors. Think walking, skating, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, etc.  Discover what you like best.

Outdoor workout ideas:

  • Go for a walk or even a skate on an outdoor rink! Ask a friend and go for a physically distanced walk or skate and use this as a way to stay connected.
  • A jog or run. If you’ve never gone for a run, start slowly and take as many breaks as you need along the way.
  • Have a Fat Bike? Go for a bike ride. Find an area that is ice-free; along the canal is a great option if you are in Ottawa, and enjoy the scenery.
  • Go for a hike. Conditions and restrictions will vary, so make sure to check out your trail’s website to confirm it is open and safe to visit. Some options are Pine Grove Trail, Pinhey Forest Trails, and Stony Swamp Loop.
  • Try your HIIT or typical workout. Find a safe spot and lay down a mat to practice your favorite exercises. Remember to listen to your body, and head back inside if you are feeling too cold. Test it out and see what feels right for you.

We hope you will try one or a few of these ideas! As previously mentioned, listen to your body and don’t push yourself past your comfort level. For extra encouragement, join our fitness Facebook group  and tell us how you’ve been getting outside to exercise!