5 Tips to Help You Exercise Safely in the Summer Heat
With the summer months rapidly approaching, it’s time to take your workouts outdoors! While many of us may be tempted to jump right into our outdoor workouts, we should all take great care in preparing for the summer heat and the effects it can have on our bodies.
Let’s take a looks at 5 tips that will assure your outdoor workouts are safe this summer.
Tip #1: HydrateExercising in hot weather increases our body temperature, so it’s vital to assure your body is properly hydrated before, during, and after your workouts.
While the body’s ability to perspire acts as a natural cooling system, it’s your job to make sure you’re hydrated enough for this to work properly.
Your focus should primarily be on drinking water. Remember, our bodies consist of 50-60% water, so it’s vital to maintain this amount. On a hot day, you can easily lose 3-5% of your body’s water weight while working out.
During exercise, aim for drinking 8-10 oz. of water every 20 minute. After exercise, be sure to get in another 10-20 oz. to assure you are properly re-hydrating. Another great way to re-hydrate is to grab some fruit. An orange or an apple will help replace valuable electrolyte loss and aid in recovery.
Tip #2: Avoid Peak HeatPlan your outdoor workouts for early in the morning or around sunset. Sun and humidity levels are more intense during the daytime hours, so to minimize the effects of the heat plan your workouts around that part of the day.
Tip #3: Dress AppropriatelyInvest in some lightweight, loose-fitting workout clothes that will help wick away moisture and keep your body cooler. Sweating alone does not cool the body, but the evaporation of sweat does. Clothes that soak up your sweat not only become uncomfortable and weigh you down, but they don’t allow for proper evaporation.
Also avoid dark colored workout clothing that will absorb the heat and focus on wearing light-colored items.
Tip #4: AcclimateIf you have been running indoors or working out in a cooler climate, be prepared to ease up a bit when the weather heats up. Heat and humidity can wear your body down much faster when you’re not used to it, so gradually work your way into summer heat shape and allow your body to build up a tolerance to that kind of workout environment.
Those high intensity intervals or long distance treadmill runs will be tough to match in the hot weather, so be smart and gradually work your way up to them.
Tip #5: Listen To Your BodyIt’s crucial to pay attention to your body when it comes to working out in the heat. Heat exhaustion and sun stroke can quickly sneak up on you and put you in a world of hurt!
If you’re feeling any of the following symptoms while working out in the heat, it’s time to shut it down and find some air-conditioned comfort:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Muscle cramps
To quickly cool off, here are a couple of tricks:
- Run cold water over your forearms
- Apply ice packs or cooling wraps to the back of your neck, your forearms, and/or your armpits
- Use a spray bottle to mist your skin while fanning air on it to aid in the evaporation/cooling