HOUSTON (CBS Houston) Summer months for many mean exercising outdoors. Power walks and jogging are quite popular ways men and women choose to stay in shape. When it comes to choosing to jog or power walk, there are are some tips you can follow to get the most out of your outdoor workout.

1. Power Foods Have you ever tried to jog or power walk on an empty stomach? I have and it’s not a great idea. Make sure that before you begin your jogging or power walking, please give your body the proper fuel it needs. Great foods such as cereals and fruits are great energy boosters. I will not lie; I sometimes have a great pancake breakfast with turkey bacon and a few scrambled eggs… nothing big, but a hearty breakfast to give me the power and energy I need to walk and run! If I had anything bigger, I would have to take a nap first. (LOL)

2. “Warm It Up”! Before you begin your jog or power walk, did you take the time stretch your muscles and joints? Did you do a few lunges here and a few arm pulls there? If you are not taking the time to warm up your body, then you are not going to get the most out of your jog or walk workout.

The one thing you do not want to skimp on for outdoor jogs is your footwear. (Photo Credit: ThinkStock)

The one thing you do not want to skimp on for outdoor jogs is your footwear. (Photo Credit: ThinkStock)

3. Fine Footwear When it comes to jogging and power walking, the one place you do not want to “cut corners” is with your footwear. You need shoes that fit property and they need to have soles that enable you to accomplish the rough terrain you will encounter while walking and jogging outdoors. Think of all of the twigs, dirt, pavement you will encounter. Every time your foot takes a step down on that terrain, it needs to be a comfortable step that is braced with cushion. If you are not wearing proper footwear, you could be damaging your legs, causing stress to your joints and making your body suffer. Talk to a foot care specialist to find out what your needs are when it comes to sneakers for jogging and/or power walking.

4. Music, Mantra & Motivation! Spending an hour or longer jogging or walking requires focus but you also want to make it a pleasant experience as well. I find that great tunes help to “center me” and motivate me to get a great workout in. Grab some great music, listen to a motivational tape, find a great Internet station and blast some great tunes or motivation in your ears as you jog or walk! (OK… perhaps “blast” was a poor choice for a word but you get my idea, right?

5. “What Chu Wearin’?” OK so living in Houston during the summer and planning a jog or walk requires some… well, planning. Sometimes it is 80 degrees at 6 a.m.! So for those days, I wear comfortable clothes that allow for freedom of movement and ventilation. A great pair of shorts and a t-shirt work for me. Find out what clothing works best for you. I cannot get with yoga pants or pants of any kind in this Houston heat so I never wear them to go jogging or walking. Chances are you are not going to run into any “fashion police” while on the walking trail, but you can still look stylish in a matching shorts/jogging set. Make the most of your jog and walks with great fitting clothes that allow you to produce maximum results with each step you take!

6. Protection Please! Back in the day, I used to play tennis. I suffered a tremendous injury to my knee and to this day I have to wear a brace on that knee. So to ensure I protect my knee and my body, I place my brace on and go walking or jogging. Please wear protective leg and arm guards that help to cushion and protect your body from further injury. Also, when you wear those protective units, you are enabling your body for great endurance. Speaking of protection, where is your sunblock? You need it on while jogging. There are great sweat/water proof lotions that you can wear so that you do not get burned. Take the time to protect your body, skin and even your mind before that jog or walk. You are worth it and your body and soul will thank you for it later!

Do you have additional tips that you use to ensure a great outdoor walk or jog? Share them as you enjoy related video below!


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