Since June is Great Outdoors Month, and the Summer Solstice starts on June 21, here’s a not-so-surprising tip:†walking is a great way to enjoy the great outdoors and take in some of that summer sunshine.
But, as it keeps warming up, all that heat might make it harder to stick to your walking routine. Here are some walking tricks that will keep you motivated and make your walks more enjoyable as the weather keeps on heating up.
Wear the right clothing. Dressing for summer heat will help keep you cool as you walk. The best choices are thin, natural fibers like cotton, or clothes made from materials that are designed to wick the sweat away from your body. And, consider adding a neck wrap/cooler or even wetting your shirt if you get too hot. Since your feet usually get hotter than the rest of you, choose well-ventilated shoes and socks that wick away the perspiration.
Bring water. While you might not feel like you are dehydrating, donít wait until you feel it, stay hydrated. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water before and after your walk, but during your walk.
Trick: freeze some water in your water bottle. As it slowly melts while you walk, you will have ice cold water.
Know the signs of dehydration or being over-heated. If you have any of these heat sickness symptoms, stop walking and get inside: heavy sweating, weakness, muscle cramps, dizziness, nausea/vomiting, headache and fainting.
Walk when it is cooler. The long summer days mean that you can walk later into the evening while it is still light or, if you are an early riser, walk in the early morning as a way to get going and plan ahead for your day. Just remember, the sun is strongest between noon and 3 p.m. so that puts you at greater risk for heat stroke. If mid-day is the only time you have to walk, consider walking in an air-conditioned mall.
Clear Your Mind. Walking is not only good for your physical health, but it can be great for your mental health. Take advantage of the opportunity to just zone out, enjoy summer, and observe everything around you. Clear out those negative thoughts. Try to unplug, resist the urge listen to music or talk or text on your cell phone. Instead, take in the sights and sounds of the great outdoors that only come with summer. You will find that it can calm and de-stress you.