11 things to make working out outside easier
Get fit while social distancing with these picks.
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I’ve never been much of an outdoor workout type of person. Save for running for the last several years, the few times I took my workouts to the mean streets of Montreal was when I attended a socially-distanced barre workout. I was weary—because bugs, grass, dirt, onlookers, etc.—but I learned to love the fresh air, the breeze, and the feeling that I was doing so much more than simply exercising. I was feeding my dang heart and soul some much needed time with Mother Nature.
I couldn’t have done it alone. Below, the 11 products that made it so much easier to work out outside.
1. This high-tech jump rope
Sick of running? Mix up your cardio. If you have low ceilings like me, take this jump rope to the great outdoors. Complete with a free app of guided workouts, their best-selling Get Lean rope weighs a quarter of a pound, which challenges your strength and endurance more than a standard jump rope. When I tried it for the first time, I learned it was an extremely efficient method of working out—within a couple minutes, I was close to maxing out my heart rate. One of the rope’s 10,000 five-star reviewers shares a similar experience:
“This is the first premium rope set I ever bought—with all the rave reviews I figured it was worth a try. At first I was horrible and cursed the ropes assuming it was too short. Eventually I became acclimated and was keeping pace easily. I did find the heavier 1/4-pound weight to feel better to use and less likely to trip up. The app is easy and straightforward with plenty of workouts and information, even on the free version. So far it's a great addition to my workout and the handles feel solid and comfortable with a completely tangle free rope.”
2. These light-as-air sneakers
I have yet to sink my feet into sneakers that feel exactly like slippers or a cozy pair of Uggs, but here we are. Nobull’s trainers are made of lightweight and breathable mesh, and suitable for a range of activities like running, cross-training, biking and more. Their soles offer so much traction that they allowed me to safely hike up a rocky mountain that was slippery from the rain. Of their 830 Amazon reviews, many agree: “Grip is great on rope climbs, and I haven’t had any heel slip problems on sled pushes or the rower like I’ve had with other shoes. They are even comfortable for casual, all-day wear. I love these shoes!”
3. This functional running belt
One of the most challenging aspects of working out outside is having to get creative with how I stay hydrated. Because I don’t like relying on local water fountains for obvious germ-infested reasons, a running belt is always a safe bet. In my experience, you want to avoid water bottle holders that keep your bottle vertically upright. Tilted 45 degrees, this bottle holder is a little more aerodynamic, too, and features enough space to store your belongings like your keys and cellphone. With over 800 Amazon reviews, this belt is perfect for running, hiking, biking, walking and more, and many reviewers have said it actually helps them look forward to working out—instead of dreading it.
4. This cult-favorite sports bra from Lululemon
Unfortunately, working out outside as a woman also means taking into consideration that many passers-by will make childish comments about a bouncing chest. To avoid that, I opt for one of my top-rated sports bras by Lululemon that straps me in like a Houdini straight jacket with its solid cups and thick straps. It’s super sweat absorbent, too, so my T-shirt doesn’t get as drenched.
5. This anti-chafe stick
Working out outside doesn’t only mean you sweat from the sun heat, but the heat your body creates moving beneath it. This double-trouble sweat situation calls for an anti-chafe stick that prevents your skin from rubbing itself raw in its tracks (and field). Natural botanicals like aloe and vitamin E work to soothe, pomegranate seed extract aims to protect, and grapeseed oil works to keep your skin hydrated. With a five-star rating and numerous beauty magazine awards to its name, it’s a summer fitness must-have.
6. This frizz-fighting headband
I’ve been wearing Lululemon headbands for all my runs even since before they contained a strip of soft velvet on the inside to help the headband stay in place (without pulling your hair!). They effectively work to prevent any flyaways from entering your eyes, which is definitely a concern on windy days. Plus, whenever I wear this headband, I notice it traps sweat emanating from my scalp, which leaves my face far less sweaty. One five-star reviewer is almost as enthusiastic about them as I am: “These are the best headbands to keep stray hairs away from my face when I exercise. They keep their shape if laundered correctly. Plus I really liked the fabric on this one.”
7. An outdoor-friendly workout mat
Chances are the threat of bugs and dirt is preventing you from getting down on the ground and squeezing in some crunches or push-ups. Do away with your ratty towel and opt instead for a thicker mat that will smooth out any sharp or uneven terrain. At one-inch thick, this best-selling mat with over 2,500 reviews also works to provide a therapeutic cushion for your feet, back, hips and thighs, and it's one of our favorites. It comes with a free mat strap so you can take it to the yard or the park with ease. It’s moisture resistant, and reviewers say it cleans with easily with soap and water, giving it a longer lifespan.
8. These sunglasses designed for working out
Let’s not lie to ourselves: while effective at preventing harmful UV rays from entering the eye, some workout sunglasses can look pretty nerdy. If you want to look as fly as you feel, opt for these lightweight frames that feature a ventilated rubber nose bridge to reduce fogging, tapered arms designed to fit under a hat, and a matte gray lens tint for the sunniest of days.
9. This lightweight hat from Athleta
To protect the skin on your scalp from burning and eyes from watering from the glaring sun, don’t leave for your outdoor workout without this lightweight runner’s cap with built-in sun protection of UPF 50. What customers love about the hat is its adjustable strap, non-itchy material, and sleek design to pair with virtually any outfit—on and off the track.
10. These wireless headphones
Whether I’m going on a casual run or struggling through a half-marathon, I always rely on these wireless Bluetooth headphones to provide crisp, high-quality sound even on the windiest of days. I can answer calls on it and have my music resume once I hang up to the tune of 16 hours of playback time on a full charge. It also doesn’t hurt that they feels super light and cushiony on my ears (read: no chafing, slipping, or an overly sweaty and suffocated feeling). With over 440 reviews, many other customers are also pleased with the superior sound quality you get for the price.
11. These perfect Lululemon running shorts
It’s not hard to see why our e-commerce editor Courtney Campbell is downright obsessed with these easy, breezy, breathable Lululemon running shorts: they don’t ride up or down when you move, they contain handy pockets, and they’re made for “athletic quads,” so you’ll have lots of room to breathe. With a four-inch inseam, Courtney calls these the “Goldilocks” of short lengths because they provide y the right amount of coverage and breathability.
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