Gearing up for Outdoor Fitness
So what do you need for an Outdoor Fitness workout? Very little! The number one piece of equipment is a good fitting pair of shoes. One of the greatest perks of Outdoor Fitness is that it doesn’t require extensive equipment. All that is truly necessary is a good fitting, functional pair of shoes. Having the right footwear for the terrain is vital. Wearing the wrong shoes for the activity is like driving a Formula One racecar on a bumpy mountain fire road. There are two main types of shoes that are best-suited to Outdoor Fitness workouts.
All-Terrain running shoes are great for rural environments and off-road running. This type of shoe supports climbing, descending, and traversing uneven ground, and will help you hold onto wet rocks and roots. Shoes made with Gore-Tex material are helpful in wet conditions.
Shoes for walking and running on the road work well in an urban environment. Their firm construction protects your feet on pavement and concrete.
Choose the shoe that best suits the environment you’ll be using for your workouts. Regardless of the shoe you select, a good fit is essential. Squeezing into a shoe that is too small can cause pinched nerves, bunions, hammertoes, corns and blisters. Shoes that are too large can cause accidents—a loose fit leads to a lack of control.
Don’t take shortcuts with your footwear. Problems in your feet eventually spread to other areas of the body, including ankles, knees, hips and low back.
Tips for buying and caring for your shoes
• Shop after a workout or at the end of the day, when your feet have swelled from activity
• Take a quick jog around the block before you buy the shoes
• Take your worn out shoes with you when shopping for new ones. They hold clues to any special conditions you might have
• To make shoes last, buy 2 pairs and rotate them.
• Follow the 25 percent rule. If you engage in an activity like running more than 25 percent of the week, add a shoe for that activity
• Never wash your shoes in hot water. Use cold water, the gentle cycle and air dry them
• Replace your shoes every 3-5 months, depending on use