Tomorrow is June 1st! What the heck!? This year is just flying by! Anyway, I thought with summer just around the corner it was a good time to share some outdoor summer fitness essentials to help keep you moving, motivated, and safe all summer long.
As a fitness instructor, I can tell you there is definitely a shift towards more outdoor activities in the summer. Class sizes are smaller and you rarely go for a drive without seeing someone out walking, biking or running. Getting outside and connecting with nature is great not only for your physical health but also for your mental health as it has been proven to help reduce stress and a little sunshine is always great for the soul.
The first thing you should consider when it comes to your outdoor fitness essentials is your footwear. Whether you are in need of a new pair of running sneakers, hikers, walking shoes or something else, this is one item that truly is essential.
You only get one set of feet, and everything else sits upon them, so it’s critical that you ensure you are wearing proper footwear when you are going to be participating in any type of activity.
And no, that pair of sneakers you bought 3 years ago and wear for absolutely everything are not good enough. It’s time to replace them.
The next most important thing (coming from this super pale girl) is skin protection. A hat to cover your head, sunglasses, sunscreen and/or UV filtering clothing. Staying in the shade when possible helps but doesn’t protect you entirely. And if you are going the sunscreen route, don’t forget to reapply! Even with adequate sunscreen on, I got the WORST sunburn last year when we went stand up paddle boarding.
You can still see where the burn was on my legs and it hurt sooo badly. Being on the water or in the water increases your chance of burning by like 12 billion (not a scientific number, haha). While I do opt for natural sunscreens when possible, when the choice is between covering myself in chemical filled sunscreen or getting a terrible sunburn – I’ll go with the chemicals thankyouverymuch.
Being able to keep track of somebody metrics while out and about is something that is important to me. More from a health perspective than a, “I need to get 10,000 steps every day to keep my step total up.” stand point. So I like to wear an activity tracker that monitors my heart rate in addition to other metrics. Recently, I’ve been using the Mio SLICE which they were kind enough to send me to review. It is an all-day heart rate activity tracker that is different from the other trackers on the market.
Instead of counting steps, it counts PAI (Physical Activity Intelligence). The theory being that most trackers only count steps, but not all steps are created equal, and some activity (like cycling and rowing) generates no steps at all. PAI is based on your heart rate instead of steps, so all forms of exercise help contribute to your total PAI. You can learn a bit more about the specifics in the short video below:
You can easily sync your Mio SLICE with the Mio PAI 2 application on your phone to keep track of all your stats so you know where you stand at a moment’s glance.
PAI is based on the HUNT Study, one of the largest health studies ever performed involving more than 45,000 people over 25 years. Research concluded that maintaining a PAI score of 100 or more means that a person is active enough to be maximally protected against cardiovascular disease and other lifestyle-related diseases.*
*To learn more visit www.mioglobal.com/paiscience
I really love the science behind the SLICE as it’s always annoyed me that some days it can look as though I’ve barely moved when I look at my FitBit, but in reality I know I’ve done a few hours of exercise (like yoga).
The only downside I found to the Mio SLICE is that it needs to be charged more frequently than other fitness trackers I’ve used. One way around that is to charge it at night if you aren’t overly concerned about tracking hours slept, or to charge it while you are working (assuming you have a sedentary job) or relaxing in the evenings so you don’t miss out on any of those precious PAI. 😉
If you are someone who participates in activities that don’t generate a large step count, the Mio SLICE is the perfect fitness tracker for you! And even if you are a stepper, changing your focus from steps to PAI might be the perfect way to help you switch up your routine and to keep you from getting to step-oriented.
My last essential is really a year-round essential in my books, but even more so in the summer. A Bluetooth speaker. The only thing better than hanging out at the pool in the summer is hanging out at the pool and listening to music. But when it’s hot out you don’t want to leave your phone sitting in the sun, nor do you want it to be in the “splash zone” which is why a Bluetooth speaker is key. That way you can keep your phone somewhere cool and water-free, while enjoying your favourite songs, podcast or e-book (y’all know I’m all about the e-books these days). I recently picked up this Anker Soundcore Mini which is awesome! I’ve been using it in my car (sadly my car doesn’t have Bluetooth or aux-in capabilities) and it is perfect because it’s loud but also fits in a cup holder. It will be the perfect addition to any outdoor summer gathering because it’s small but mighty!
In the past, I’ve been the dork using their phone speaker to play music at my pool, while covering the rest of the phone in a towel to keep it cool and dry. Yeah, it works terribly, haha, so I can’t wait to try this little cutie out! It also doubles as an FM Radio for those still wanting to tune into their local radio channels.
Water, water, and more water
I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t mention the importance of staying hydrated – especially in the summer months. Carrying a water bottle with you helps you stay on track, and you can get great (and stylish) water bottles like this one from S’well that will keep your cold drinks cold, and your hot drinks hot while looking pretty darn cute at the same time. I like using this hair tie trick where I put a hair tie on my bottle for each bottle of water I want to drink in a day. Each time I empty the bottle I take one hair tie off, and when all the hair ties are gone I know I’ve consumed enough water for the day!
What do you think? Did I miss any of your outdoor summer fitness essentials? Let me know in the comments!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I was provided with a Mio SLICE free of charge in order to facilitate this review, all opinions expressed are entirely my own.