By: Rich McLoughlin – Contributing Writer
Editor’s Note: Rich McLoughlin is a senior exercise science major whose life experiences have led him to motivate others toward personal fitness. McLoughlin is a certified personal trainer.
At this point, I really do not know if the weather is ever going to get any warmer, but hopefully the days of sunny 60-degree weather that are immediately followed by snowy 10-degree weather are over. That feeling of warmer weather is starting to kick in though, and that means it’s time to take your workout from inside to outside.
Getting exercise outside can be one of the best workout experiences an individual can have. A study done by the University of Rochester in 2009 found that outdoor exercise can increase an individual’s energy level as well as one cup of coffee. This effect can be even greater if you make it a high intensity-interval session.
Running outside can be more effective than doing laps on the track or exhausting yourself on the treadmill. Taking the run outside means you must also fight the natural wind resistance and changes in terrain. These natural aspects of running outside cause individuals to work harder, burning more calories in the same distance compared to as running indoors.
I think we can all agree that running outside definitely makes working out more enjoyable for countless reasons.
You have probably experienced more inspiration, a higher feeling of euphoria, and reduced amounts of stress post-exercise. But what if you don’t want to run for miles and miles outside? Don’t have enough time but still want to get outside? Fortunately for us, the university is situated on some great terrain and provides some nice spots for getting an awesome workout.
Roadways like Brown Street, the various avenues of the student neighborhood or trekking the hill on Stewart Street are great examples of places to go for a run. But if you’re really looking for a challenge, make your way over to Woodland Cemetery, located on the Darkside. The very steep roads seem never-ending, and if you get lucky you’ll end up at the highest point in Dayton with a look at the entire city.
The village of Oakwood, located on the other side of Irving Street, also provides some very challenging hills and interesting scenery but I would recommend knowing where you are going before you head out as it can become confusing.
Student Neighborhood Sprints
Block to block sprinting with a good two to three minutes of rest in between each sprint probably will have the most significant benefits. Take a 30-45 second all-out sprint up a block of Kiefaber Street then two to three minutes of rest to walk over to Lowes Street and sprint again. Do that four to six times and your workout for the day will already be over. Yes, you have to get over the fact that you’re doing all-out sprints with the risk of having peers laugh at you, but you’ll be the one laughing soon enough.
You know those really awkward slabs of concrete in front of the rec that look like benches? They are benches! But they can also be a sweet spot for getting some challenging body weight workouts done. Get a lap around Evanston Avenue and come right back to the benches to do high reps of box jumps, dips, pushups, step-ups, and hurdle jump then repeat a few times. This will help break up the monotony of running, but can also reap in the benefits from body weight strength training.
The RecPlex has also provided students with a massive turf field that can be perfect for doing short sprints or fun agility work on. The track that runs around it also gives students a safe environment to run without the worry of traffic.
Tips for Running Outdoors
With all the greatness that working out outside provides, you must also be aware of some of the dangers. Listed below are some tips to insure safety is also at the forefront of exercise.
– Know where you are going
– Stretch with a dynamic warm-up beforehand
– Be visible
– Do not run alone at night
– Drinking plenty of water
before and during runs
– Wear white [reflects suns
rays] and a hat on hot days
Once this weather starts cooperating, running outside will just be another weapon in your arsenal of getting fit tactics. If you are struggling to meet your goals, find new inspiration by taking your workouts outside.
If you have any more questions about working out outside or general fitness inquires, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.