Exercising in the Summer Months
Summer is right around the corner! Along with the warm, sunny weather, you may find yourself wanting to move your workout outdoors. While exercising outside is very beneficial for both your physical and mental health, it is important to understand how to stay safe in the summer heat. Listed below are safety tips for exercising in the heat collected from the Cleveland Clinic, The American Heart Association, and the Road Runners Club of America.
Tips for Exercising in the Heat
- On really hot days, aim to exercise first thing in the morning or in the evening when it is a little cooler. If you plan on running or doing another workout during the day, check the weather first and avoid running if the temperature is above 98.6 degrees and the humidity is above 70-80%. Your body won’t be able to regulate its temperature through your sweat evaporating, causing you to easily overheat.
- If the weather conditions permit exercising outside, remember to stay hydrated! It is recommended to pre-hydrate before any workout, especially before a long run. Drink 10–15 oz. of water 15 minutes prior to running, and drink fluids every 20–30 minutes along your longer routes.
- Be careful not to over-hydrate. Drinking too much water before and during an intense workout could cause hyponatremia, a lack of salt in the body. If you already have low sodium levels or are just planning on frequent intense workouts this summer, consider drinking vegetable juice beverages. If you can’t stomach the taste of straight vegetables, try a fruit and vegetable juice blend without the added sugars. You can also try sports drinks, just read the label and avoid high calorie, sugary drinks.
- The process of sweating and having it evaporate off your skin is how your body keeps cool. So try to not wipe the sweat off your face as you exercise!
- Avoid direct sunlight whenever possible. Workout in the shade, wear protective sunglasses, and wear a visor that shades your face but still allows heat to release form the top of your head. Whether you are going to be in the shade or not, always apply sunscreen with 15 SPF or higher.
- Don’t wear too much clothing. Wearing a long-sleeve shirt or long pants will protect you from UV rays, but it will cause you to overheat quickly. Instead, wear light, breathable workout clothes.
- Remember that exercising in warm weather demands much more energy, which can lead to fatigue quicker. Start slow with your workouts and allow your body to accumulate to the temperature.
Exercising outdoors is very beneficial to your overall health and following these tips will ensure you stay safe during the summer months! For more information, click here!