Exercising Outdoors: Beat the Summer Heat
It’s beautiful outdoors this time of year, and the warm weather makes it impossible to stay indoors. Summer is the perfect time to enjoy some outdoor activities. Whether it’s grilling out, taking a walk, going on a family bike ride, it’s all fun and games when its warm out- that is until it’s TOO warm. We all crave summertime until we’re faced with its realities. Stifling heat, high humidity, and the many times we question why in the world we invested in those black leather seats.
While the heat can be an annoyance (and sometimes downright unbearable), it can also be dangerous. In particular, if you’re trying to start or continue a workout routine. It’s difficult to run on a treadmill or stationary bike when you know you know that you could be doing the same thing in the real world with fresh air.
The good news is- you are entirely free to exercise outdoors. There are even benefits to exercising in the heat and having your workout inspired by the outdoors. So do it, go outside, but keep in mind that heat safety is of the utmost importance. If you exercise outdoors without understanding the effects of heat on your body, you are at risk of experiencing heat-related illnesses that cause stress on the body. Here are a few ways you can make sure you’re staying safe during your outdoor workouts.
- Keep your eye on the forecast
If you are trying to decide when you’re going to fit your workout, keep your eye on the temperatures. Maybe it’s cooler in the morning or the evening that day, so pick the cooler option out of the two. Typically the days at its hottest at around 3:00 p.m., so the more you can avoid working out during this time the better for heat safety. Now that doesn’t mean be a bum during these hours, but don’t kill yourself during a workout and put too much heat stress on your body. Use your discretion to decide what activity level is appropriate for your workout during these hot hours!
- Don’t expect to be able to be able to beat the heat in the beginning…
If you’ve never worked out in the heat, you might be facing some difficulties. Your body is not acclimated to this kind of stress. After all, most of us have a hard time working out in the air conditioning, let alone the heat of the great outdoors. So give your body time to figure out the heat. Don’t force yourself to work out for a long time in the beginning. Make small steps to getting your body used to the heat.
- Drink plenty of water
Dehydration is a key influencer in heat illnesses. Your body needs to sweat to properly cool itself in the heat, but it can’t do that if you’re not sufficiently drinking fluids. Consider drinking a sports drink to sufficiently replenish electrolytes.
- Wear sunscreen
You might not think of this at first- but full body health is important when exercising outdoors. Protecting your skin from the damaging sun raise is vital and can significantly reduce your risk of skin cancer.
- Dress Appropriately
Don’t wear workout clothes that are not breathable and allow you to get sufficient air flow. Exercising in the heat can be difficult on your body, don’t make it any harder by wearing something that is going to make you more likely to overheat.
- Know when to come inside
It’s so enjoyable to move your workout routine outside, but don’t push it! If it’s too hot or you start to feel like you’re going overheat, then move your workout indoors. Have a backup plan for when it’s too hot outside so that you can exercise in a gym or at home.
So there are a few tips for you when it comes to exercising outdoors. Enjoy being active in nature, but remember that heat safety is essential, so don’t push your body into heat stress!