Some stick to outdoor exercise as pandemic restrictions ease

Heat is great for exercising as it loosens up the muscles
Posted at 3:22 PM, Jul 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-09 16:22:30-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — During the height of the pandemic, gyms were closed or had restrictions on the number of people allowed inside, so many of you took to the outdoors to exercise.

Walking, biking, running or even hiking — these outdoor exercises offer freedom, relaxation and many other benefits.

"Heat can be very beneficial to the muscle, a muscle that is warmer is more flexible and it can stretch better. We have this natural warm environment and you can harness that beneficial power that the heat has for those specific adaptations," said UNO School of Health and Kinesiology Professor Dustin Slivka.

Founder of Hiker Babes, Amanda Sauer, said, "I feel like if I am burning calories, I would rather do it outside in nature than in the gym."

Nebraska has close to 100 different trails, covering more than 400,000 miles of outdoor space.

"I feel like hiking is more of a mental therapy, it is just good to get out of the city and just enjoy outside and get some fresh air," said Sauer.

While outdoor exercising is great, you do still need to take precautions and keep properly hydrated.

"Even though you are hydrated, that does not eliminate you from risk from heat-induced problems. We need the hydration so we can sweat, so we can matter how hydrated we are, if we are in the wrong environment, we can have those heat-induced health problems that can be life-threatening," added Slivka.

There are also some parks in Omaha, like Halleck Park, that offer free outdoor workout equipment.

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