New to outdoor exercise? Experts share top 5 tips

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Staff report

With outdoor exercise one of the few ways that South Floridians can safely venture outside their homes right now, people who never saw the inside of a gym – as well as avid exercise enthusiasts – are taking to the streets to walk and run.

As former teachers and coaches, Mackenzie and Nick Stump, owners are Fleet Feet in Delray Beach, have tips for outdoor exercise:

Plan Wisely: Check the map on your smartphone and plan how far – and where – you want to go. Don’t get overambitious at first and risk tiring yourself out getting to a particular destination, because you’ll still need lots of energy to get back home.

Stretch Up: Before you head outdoors, and when you’re done exercising, make sure you always stretch –walking involves your back, legs and feet, so to avoid sore muscles, do simple stretching routines.

Drink Up: Working up a sweat outdoors is different than at the air-conditioned gym where there’s plenty of water available. Carry a full water bottle and keep drinking along the way. You can also consider going out at sunrise or sunset when temperatures are a bit cooler.

Go with function over fashion: athleisure sneakers may be cute but they’re not made for long walks and can damage your feet if you try to run in them. To prevent injury, always listen to what your body – especially your feet – are telling you.

Walk Before You Run: You might want to quickly burn off lots of the extra calories you’ve been consuming on your couch but start any new fitness regimen slowly. Begin by walking a little farther and a little faster each day until you’re ready to break into a jogging pace.