Back to Bootcamp

A few months ago, I shared my reasons for taking a hiatus from teaching my weekly outdoor bootcamp. At that point, it was mid-January, cold, dreary, not at all the kind of weather that tempts you to workout in nature. I was dealing with several minor, though nagging, injuries as well as a bad case of bootcamp burnout after teaching practically non-stop for a full year and a half. Even when I had a break between my zumba and yoga sessions, I would still run my bootcamp. Sometimes even twice per week. I really needed a break.

Beginning on May 6, I am heading back outdoors with my dedicated bootcampers to sweat it out in nature once more. We will meet on Monday mornings at 9am in Alpha Ridge Park (Marriottsville). Because we have had quite a long vacation from outdoor exercise, we will begin again at the beginning, and build our strength and stamina slowly. So this is an excellent time for newbies to join us! (Potential bootcamp candidates can take their first class for FREE during the month of May. Leave me a message if interested!)

If you are considering adding some form of outdoor exercise to your regimen, there are several important steps to take before embarking. The first and most important factor to keep in mind is hydration. Whether you are running, jogging, walking, riding a bike, or even swimming outdoors, you will be sweating. You will be exposed to the sun, wind, and other elements. And all this adds up to dehydration. Please be safe rather than sorry! Drink plenty of water BEFORE heading outdoors to exercise. I tell my bootcampers to drink a full liter of water beforehand. If you plan to be out for more than an hour, you may want to consider replacing not just the water, but also the electrolytes you will be losing. There are many sports drinks on the market these days-- you can find "natural" versions of Gatorade as well as the original. And Mr. Balancing Act has recently purchased a supplement called Salt Stick caps (visit for more info) which replaces all the minerals you lose when sweating profusely. If you hate sports drinks, this is a great alternative.

You might also want to wear some type of hat or head covering to protect your head and face from the sun. Sunscreen is recommended if you will be out for more than 20 minutes or if you burn easily. These days there are fabrics for activewear which block the sun's rays effectively; if you are prone to sunburn, you might want to invest. I also recommend wearing loose, light-colored clothing (much cooler!) and fabrics that wick moisture away from your skin. Tight fitting clothing and cotton fabrics will hold moisture against your skin which is uncomfortable and can lead to chafing, rashes, and other yucky problems.

Outdoor exercise is awesome not just for the body, but also for the senses and the spirit. You will absorb Vitamin D from the sun (most of us are deficient!) and sunlight has also been shown to elevate mood. Getting outside in a green environment can calm the nervous system and reduce stress hormones. You might hear the birds singing, smell the flowers blooming, or feel the breeze on your skin. Pretty great stuff!

Bootcamps also offer the camaraderie of a group, helping individuals to strive toward their best. While everyone performs each exercise to the best of their ability, the group can support and cheer each member on as they become stronger, faster, more agile, and more committed. No matter where you start, if you continue to show up and work hard every week, you are guaranteed to see results. Will you be donning a string bikini by mid-July? Absolutely! (String Bikini Not Included as Part of Any Promotional Package.)