Now that the warm weather has arrived, it’s time to enjoy the sunshine and get physical outdoors. An outdoor workout is a brilliant way of getting some vital Vitamin D while getting fit with family, friends or even pets. Not everyone likes running, riding bicycles or paddling so we have some alternatives for you. And, you don’t need to be super fit or require expensive equipment to enjoy these activities.
OUTDOOR WORKOUT SUGGESTIONS
Go for a hike
“Day hiking” in the Hollywood hills is a favourite outdoor activity of fit celebs from Victoria Beckham to Kendal Jenner. There are many health benefits to walking. It improves cardio-respiratory fitness, blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Since it’s a weight-bearing exercise, it also boosts bone density and muscular fitness. While we might not have the famous La-La Land sign in the background, there are loads of places across our beautiful country where you can enjoy an easy hike. Chat to locals or google local hiking clubs to find trails near you. Here is a smattering of suggestions we have.
Near Johannesburg. Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve. This is my favourite place near Johannesburg to enjoy a peaceful hike (or more strenuous bicycle ride). It’s only about 45-60 minutes away (traffic permitting) and is very popular on weekends with birdwatchers, hikers and cyclists alike. But don’t be alarmed, the cyclists stick to the road. Take a picnic basket to relax and enjoy in the picnic areas afterwards. (It’s worthy to note the picnic areas have proper bathrooms.)
For more suggestions on hiking in and around Joburg, read this article from Johannesburg In Your Pocket featuring an additional five trails to enjoy.
Cape Town and surrounds. A favourite holiday destination for so many of us from Gauteng, and especially the Equilibrio team, Cape Town is spoilt for choice when it comes to hiking trails. We’d have to write an entire post on this alone but luckily, Cape Town Magazine has already done that for us. Read about their latest hiking recommendations here.
Enter a local Parkrun event
Parkruns are free weekly 5km events that take place every Saturday morning in parks located all around the world. Organised by volunteers, they are very popular with walkers and runners alike. It’s a fun outdoor workout and social gathering of people who love to enjoy a parklike environment. We’ve participated in the Delta Park run in Johannesburg and the Umhlanga pier run along the coast in KZN. Visit the Parkrun South Africa website (http://www.parkrun.co.za/) to find an event near you.
Play a game of tennis
Tennis is such a great, fun-filled outdoor workout for people of all fitness and skills levels. And it helps with muscle tone, strength and flexibility. Invite some friends and make it a friendly game of doubles. You’ll want to show of our gorgeous tennis outfit suggestions.
Enter an obstacle course race (OCR)
This might sound a bit intense, but the events cater to people of ALL fitness levels and you can enter with a group of friends so there’s always help to hand. Find out more about this outdoor workout in our OCR article published earlier this year, which included an interview with elite OCR Athlete, Carina Marx.
Before you venture out we need to make sure you have the right gear for your outdoor adventures.
Stay covered and hydrated
The most important thing to remember when exercising outdoors is to protect yourself from the sun, stay hydrated and keep safe. We’ve already made some useful non-toxic sunscreen suggestions for you in our Beach Babe Sunscreen post. Here we share some of our favourite practical gear suggestions.
Firstly, never venture outside without a cap. I love both the Puma Performance visor and cap pictured below because of the curved brim and inner sweatband to soak up perspiration. The pouch from local athleisure brand, Movepretty is great to store your phone and some cash and keep them dry. Alternatively, the handy wrist pocket by Puma Performance fits snugly around the wrist, and conveniently holds your smaller items.
Top left: PUMA Performance duoCELL tech visor, R299.
Bottom left: PUMA Performance Stretchfit baseball cap, R299.
Bottom right: PUMA Performance PR wrist pocket, R199.
Water or hydration belts are a great hands-free solution for taking water with you when you’re doing an outdoor workout. They also have useful pouches for storing keys and other small items. I have a Medalist belt like the one pictured below and love the snug, comfortable fit.
Left: MEDALIST Hydro Gel 2 Nutrition Belt with 2x300ml water bottles, R419.
If you’re going to venture out a little more remotely, you’ll want to take some additional supplies with you like water, sunscreen, something to snack on and maybe a light rain jacket and even pepper spray (if safety is a concern). A small hiking specific backpack is the way to go. They are made with lightweight, breathable fabrics so that ultimately, it feels like you have nothing on your back.
Left: SALOMON Synapse 20L backpack, R1249.
Right: Hi-Tec Contour 28L backpack, R 599.
What to wear
Wearing the right kit will ensure you’re cool, comfortable and happy on your walk, hike or run. There’s no shortage of gorgeous active wear to make sure you look good no matter what you’re doing. We’ve taken the time to pick some items for you.
Shorts are great provided you’re not traversing terrain full of bushes that leave you full of scratches and scrapes. Here are some cool workout shorts I have my eye on.
Left: I love the fabric used by Columbian lifestyle brand, MAAJI, and the fact that you essentially get a 2-in-1 deal with these reversible shorts. MAAJI reversible ink grey shorts, R1499.
Centre: These NIKE shorts in a fab hot pink print, have a handy zip-up pocket to store your keys. NIKE Performance flex pink running shorts, R699.
Right: For those of us who love a draw-string, these funky print PUMA shorts are perfect. PUMA black and white printed shorts, R359.
If you don’t like wearing shorts or, if you’re venturing into bushier terrain, you can cover your legs up with these fab tights or pants.
Top left: VIVOLICIOUS Rain forest performance tech tights green, R799.
Bottom left: PUMA PWR swagger pants in black, R899.
Top right: NEW BALANCE impact tights mid purple, R1399.
Bottom right: REEBOK Training WOR smoke print capri in black and white, R549.
Pair your shorts or tights with an attractive, practical sports bra and then layer with some lightweight tops.
Top left: NIKE Performance pro indy logo back bra in black, R 579
Bottom left: REEBOK Training WOR tri back bra in black and white, R449.
Top right: NIKE Training victory compression bra in cerise pink, R349.
Bottom right: PUMA Performance PWRSHAPE Forever logo bra in white, R499.
Layering with good quality, breathable fabrics when you venture outdoors is always a good idea. Keep it light with this selection of tank tops and hoodies to pull over your sports bra.
Top left: NIKE Performance purple training tank, R649
Bottom left: PUMA Performance mesh it up layer tank in pink, R599.
Top right: PUMA Performance layer tank in white, R799.
Bottom right: NIKE Performance breathe training tank in black, R 499
Right: LITHE water resistant jacket with coral detail and zip, R239.
You can also protect your arms from UV rays and scratches with arm sleeves. South African brand, Vivolicious has a fun selection to choose from.
VIVOLICIOUS TechFIT UV arm sleeves in Dandy (left) and FrangiPani (right), R250 a pair.
For your feet
One of the most important components of your hiking or walking kit is shoes. Off-road terrain is generally uneven and slippery so you need to make sure you have the right shoes to avoid any injuries. Hiking boots are advisable if you’re going to tackle more technical terrain. Otherwise, a good pair of trail running shoes will suffice.
You can’t go wrong by investing in a pair of Salomon or Inov-8 trail shoes. They are both leading manufacturers of outdoor sports gear and their shoes are worn by some of the best trail runners around. However, if you’re buying shoes for the first time, I’d suggest you do some research and visit a specialist running shop like The Sweat Shop to assist you in making the right choice.
While you can wear our gear suggestions above for tennis as well, we confess to loving tennis kit. I’m looking for an excuse to buy this cute jade tennis outfit by local athleisure brand, MOVEPRETTY.
For a more classis turn on the tennis court, try this outfit.
Top left: ADIDAS New York striped tennis tank top, R899.
Bottom left: NIKE classic ultra white tennis shoes, R1299.
Whichever activity you prefer, there’s nothing better than the feeling of sunshine on your skin while you’re being physically active. The post-workout glow is addictive and sure to make you feel amazing provided you stay slathered with sunscreen and well hydrated. Go on, don’t delay, grab a buddy (or three or more) and get out there this weekend.