10 Ways to Come out of Hibernation and Hit the Trail

©istockphoto/nullplusSummer is just starting which means most of us are starting to get back into an outdoor routine. Even for the “all seasons” outdoor enthusiast this is still a time of transition and jumping back into summer activities can be challenging. So, if you’re ready to brush off the dust and hit the trail, here are a few tips.

Check Your Shoes
Running shoes are generally good for about 8 months of regular wear. If you played hard last summer your shoes may not be performing optimally, in which case it’s probably time for a new pair. For those pursuing multiple activities, opt for a shoe that can take you wherever you go.

Bring Your Gear to Work
For nine to fivers especially, it’s easy to rush home to the couch and spend the evening lounging. To boost your chances of getting your afternoon outdoor activity in, pack a bag with what you’ll need and bring it with you to work so you can change and go right the trailhead or park.

Get a Partner
Chances are you’re not the only one looking to get back in the swing of things. Enlist a friend to team up and get back out. You’ll motivate each other and the added pressure of making your workout a social event, means you’re more likely to follow through.

Go In the Morning
While it might not be realistic to forge out on a 10-mile morning hike, it’s probably possible get a short trail run in before breakfast. Take advantage of the earlier day light hours and get outside first thing. While giving up an extra 30 minutes of shut-eye is no easy feat, you’ll thank yourself later in the day when you’ve already gotten out. The trick with early morning activity is to start before your brain knows what’s happening.

Play with Your Pup
If you spent the colder seasons hibernating, your furry friend probably did too. Taking your dog out for a hike or run is a sure way to get you both back into it. He will thank you—and probably be less mischievous after a bout of outdoor activity.

Pick a New Trail
Feeling burnt out on the same trails you roamed last year? Branch out a little and explore something new. A new setting, a different trail, or an unseen view might be just what you need to get back into your summer routine. Be sure to stay safe by choosing types of terrain you’re used to and letting someone know where you’ll be. Once you’ve covered that have at it and take the road less traveled.

Get Caffeinated
Feeling too tired to get outside? Try downing a cup of coffee 30-60 minutes before your activity. Studies show this amount of caffeine boosts performance and it’ll likely help you muster the energy to get started. If you tend to engage in activity in the evening opt for less caffeine or none at all if you’re particularly sensitive as it can affect your sleep schedule.

Join a Running Group
Often found on social networks or via a simple Google search, local running groups are a great way to get outside. The added benefit of organized group runs means more routine and more motivation to get out.

Explore a New Activity
Maybe this is the year you finally start kayaking, pick up mountain biking, or try outdoor rock climbing. Whatever your new activity is, it’s sure to get you back into the outdoors and enjoying your summer.

Make a Plan
Some might be riding the guilt of all that “Netflix and chill” this winter. If that sounds like you, don’t fret or let it bog you down. Make a plan to get started and employ some of these other tips. Write it out if you have to, but start by designating several days a week as your days to get out. Before you know it, you’ll be hitting your summer activities like you never stopped.