Exercising in the heat may seem pretty normal to many of us but we need to realize the dangers that are involved with exercising in higher temperatures. It is not smart to go outside under the hot summer sun and work out without being prepared. Follow these few tips to make sure you stay safe while you’re out there!
Hydrate in Advance
Do not just hydrate during exercise– no matter the temperature outside you should always have hydrated in advance, before the actual exercise. Even when life gets busy, it is not that difficult to carry a water bottle around all day. At work, at home on the couch, wherever you may be or whatever you may be doing, DRINK H2O!
Try and hydrate at a minimum of 24 hours before you work out. Creating a life habit of staying hydrated is the best way to approach hydration.
Balance out your liquid intake with some electrolyte drinks or electrolyte snacks. If you are wearing something with pockets in it, you can throw a small pack of electrolyte snacks with you to replenish throughout your workout.
Pick Appropriate Clothing
Do NOT go outside in 95 degree heat wearing all black clothing. It will absorb the heat right away and make you feel like it is 110 degrees outside. Do not wear heavy clothing either because it will get even heavier than it already is when you begin to sweat (if you weren’t already sweating just sitting inside!).
Pick something light and breezy that allows some air in and out so hot air does not get trapped inside your clothes. It is best if your clothing ventilates and breaths because it helps sweat wick away.
Apply sunscreen before you go outside to work out and reapply later if you are outside for a long period. Sunscreen keeps you from getting sunburned. Without it, you may actually feel much hotter because of the sunburn on your skin.
Take the sun seriously and be proactive about putting on sunscreen.
Know the Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion/Heat Stroke
If you start feeling nauseous or light headed, those are two of the biggest signs that you have a problem. Muscle cramping can also be a sign and a general indication of dehydration.
Educate yourself further on heat exhaustion and heat stroke if you think you may be suffering from either. Heat stroke is scary because it can be fatal and if someone is displaying signs of it you need to get them medical attention as soon as possible.
Stop exercising if you feel sick and know when your body tells you to stop. Please know and listen to your body’s limits. It is much better to be safe than to push yourself through the entire workout under extreme temperatures.
Remember, it is not the end of the world to take a break every once and a while. Giving your body a rest, even for just a minute, can help make a difference. If during that little break you are hydrating and replenishing electrolytes it is even more beneficial.
Avoid the Hottest Part of the Day
Try and work out when it is at least somewhat cooler than at say, 2 P.M. – 5 P.M. That always seems to be the hottest part of the day and avoiding it may cut down the risk of anything happening. Working out in the morning will not be as hot and will also help get you up and moving for your day.
If it is hot outside, you can still work out, but you need to be smart about it. Working out inside is always an option as well. Always drink water and find something that you like that will replenish what you have lost while working out. Apply that sunscreen, be smart, and enjoy the sun!
This article was written by Kate Stefanski. As a Florida native, Kate is all too familiar with the summer sun and has grown up learning how to stay safe in the heat. Unfortunately, too many people are unaware of the dangers. Kate spends her time blogging about Florida and fitness and is also a professional writer for Facemyer AC. To read more of her work, check out her Google+!
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