You walk out the door and the heat hits you like a brick wall. If you didnít know it was summer, you certainly do now! The current extreme, oppressive heat can put a serious snag in your workout efforts. Rather than avoiding the outdoors altogether, try these 6 tips for exercising safely in the thick heat of summer.
Wear loose, light-colored clothing. Dark colors absorb heat, so the lighter the better. Loose, moisture-wicking clothing will help to evaporate excess sweat and keep you feeling cool and breezy, even on the hottest of days.
Sunscreen. Always use 30 spf or greater when exercising outdoors, even if it is cloudy. Skin can get damaged by UV rays very easily, so it is important to always wear protection whenever you got outside. However, be careful to avoid the mainstream stuff–it’s loaded with unnecessary toxins. Check out Kiss My Face for a variety of more natural mineral sunscreens, along with numerous other health-conscious brands.
Donít exercise in the middle of the day. 10am to 3pm are widely known to be the hottest part of the day. Try to squeeze in your outdoor fun in the morning or evening to avoid getting cooked by that big ball of fire.
Check the weather forecast. If there is a high heat advisory, you may want to get your fix indoors. That not only means high heat and more UV rays, but also poorer air quality. There is no need to risk illness when the weathermen are telling everyone to stay indoors.
Stay cool in the shade. If you decide to sweat it out all day–on a long dayhike, for instance– try to stay in the shade as much as you can. Shaded temperatures can vary from sunned areas by at least 10 degrees and as high as 40 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on other conditions. Shady sanctity!
Stay hydrated. Water is perhaps the most important substance for your body. Extreme heat will cause you to lose liquids far more quickly than normal. Make sure you always bring a large supply of cold water; either in a bladder or a large canteen. Drink before, during, AND after your workout. If you are going out into the wilderness all day, make sure to bring a method (iodine tablets, a pump, etc.) of purifying water, just to be safe. Afterwards, donít forget to replenish your electrolytes. Instead of chugging a Gatorade, try refueling post-workout with some natural electrolyte replenishers: chocolate, milk (any milk high in calcium), olives, seaweed, bananas, green leafy veggies, yogurt, nuts, and nut butters are some excellent ones.
Always listen to your body when exercising outdoors. If you feel, dizzy, nauseous, or light-headed, that means you need to take a break and refuel. The heat is great for stretching your muscles, so be sure to stretch before and after any outdoor activity. If you take care of your body and take the proper precautions, summer is a great time to get in shape and enjoy the beautiful outdoors!