Summer is the perfect time to head outside for workouts. However warmer weather can also bring extreme heat and humidity, making exercising outdoors challenging. With a little flexibility and preparation, you can still enjoy an outdoor sweat session.
Here are our top tips on how to safely exercise outside in the heat:
Choose your time wisely – Exercise before 10 am or after 7 pm, when the day’s heat isn’t at its peak.
Hydrate – Drink 2 cups of water 2 hours before going outside to exercise and sip about 4oz of water every 15 – 20 minutes while outdoors to 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.
Seek shade – Go for a trail run or walk 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.
Monitor dehydration – For extreme exercisers, it’s important to monitor dehydration. By stepping on our MaxView Digital Bathroom Scale before and after an intense workout, you can see if you have lost water weight. For those who want a bit more info, such as their body water and muscle mass, we recommend our GetFit Digital Body Fat Scale.
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 an electrical storm!
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.
A fun and tasty way to cool off after exercising is with a homemade popsicle. We’re sure that one of these DIY icepop recipes will hit the spot! Remember, you don’t have to sideline your activities during the summer – just take a few precautions and listen to your body.