Did you wait all year for summer to arrive so you could take your workout outdoors? Now that the warm weather has arrived, it can get uncomfortably hot and humid making exercising outdoors in summer challenging. With a little flexibility and preparation, you can still enjoy an outdoor work out.
Here are our top tips on how to safely exercise outside.
Hydrate – Drink 2 cups of water 2 hours before going outside to exercise and sip about 4oz of water for every 15 – 20 minutes while outdoors. This will help prevent muscle fatigue and heat exhaustion.
Wear appropriate clothing – Choose light loose fabrics that wick sweat away from the body. Wear a hat to keep the sun off your face and the sweat out of your eyes.
Protect your skin – Use a sweat resistant sunscreen designed to use for outdoor sports. Make sure to reapply accordingly. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun.
Choose your time wisely – Plan to exercise before 10AM or after 7PM when the day’s heat isn’t at its peak.
Seek shade – Go for a trail run in the shady woods or a bike ride along a breezy beach where the temperature is often 10 degrees cooler. Bootcamp style exercises can be done in a shady spot for some heat relief.
Pay attention to your body – Lower intensity on days of extreme heat and/or humidity and stop exercising if you feel dizzy, have chills, are nauseous or light-headed. These are possible signs of heat exhaustion.
Let your body acclimate – It can take 10 to 14 days for your body to get used to exercising in the heat. Start slowly and gradually increase your time and/or effort while working out outdoors.
Watch the weather forecast – Keep your workout inside on days when a heat advisory is in effect or go for a swim instead. Working out in a light rain can be refreshing but don’t head out during a thunderstorm!
Stay cool – Fill your water bottle half way with water and freeze overnight. Top it off with cold water in the morning so you have cold liquid throughout your workout.
Replenish electrolytes –It’s wise to replace electrolytes with some coconut water or a sports drink when exercising vigorously outdoors for longer than an hour.
Beat the heat – Squeeze a little cold water over your head, on the back of your neck or wrists to cool off quickly. Walking through a sprinkler is a fun way to cool down.
Cool down – Don’t shock your body by going from extreme heat into frigid air-conditioning. Be sure to do a cool down before you head inside.
You don’t have to side-line your activities during the summer. Just take a few precautions and you can take advantage of exercising on these long summer days.