With summer approaching, the weather is warming up and many people are taking their workouts outdoors. Exercising outdoors can be a fun and rewarding experience but when the temperature starts to rise it is important to remember extra risks that come with it. We have compiled some tips that will help you safely work out in the warm weather.
Dial back your workout when you’re starting out
Remember that you will not be able to perform as long or as intensely as you normally could indoors. Your body has to expend extra energy to cool down in the heat and is more prone to heat-stroke. When you’re first starting to work out in the sun, dial back your routine to be shorter and lower intensity. Like with any type of activity, you can slowly increase your workouts in order to acclimate to the higher temperatures.
Gyms usually have air conditioning on, but it is different outdoors. It is essential to dress properly to deal with the heat. The keyword for clothing is light, both in fit and color. This will help keep your body cool by allowing better air circulation over your body as well as reflecting sunlight. Dark colored clothing absorbs more sunlight, which will increase your body temperature and leave you more prone to heat related injuries.
Proper hydration is one of the best ways to maximize the workout efficiency in the heat. Thirst is not a good indicator of when to drink, as the body is already getting dehydrated at that point. Drink water plentifully before the workout. Six to eight ounces of every 15 minutes as you exercise is a good baseline of how much to drink. The body also loses salt and minerals sweating, so a sports beverage can help in replenishing them. Don’t completely replace water for these however, as these have more calories and sugar. For short sessions water alone will be sufficient.
Protect yourself from the sun
Being out in the sun means you are more vulnerable to sunburn. Not only is it painful and damaging to the skin, it also weakens the body’s ability to cool itself and retain fluids. In addition to light clothing, sunscreen of at least SPF 15, sunglasses with UV protection, and appropriate head wear will help reduce the risk of sunburn.
Avoid the hottest parts of the day
Try to limit your workout to morning and early evening hours, when the sun is not at its peak. This will also help to keep the temperature of hard surfaces such as asphalt and concrete down.