When summer hits, many people tend to ditch the gym in favor of taking their workouts outside. Cycling, jogging, and outdoor sports are just some of the popular activities that we enjoy when the hot weather finally arrives. While there are several fantastic summertime activities to help keep us moving, they can also put our health at risk if we’re not careful. The hotter temperatures increase our chances of developing heat-related health conditions such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. However, careful planning before, during and after your workout will greatly reduce your risk of developing a serious or even life-threatening condition. Here are some tips for having a healthy and fun summer workout:
Avoid Hot Caffeinated Beverages Before Your Workout
Even though it’s hot outside, many people still enjoy their hot caffeinated beverages. But not only do these beverages make you sweat more, the caffeine acts as a diuretic which causes your body to lose more fluid even faster. Any hot beverages or drinks high in caffeine should be avoided if you’re planning to exercise outside to prevent quicker fluid loss.
Drink Lots Of Water
Your body is 90% water and needs to be replenished regularly. To keep the body functioning at its optimal best, it’s important to drink water daily. Because we lose even more water when we workout, we should be drinking water before, during and after a workout. In the summer, we sweat a lot more from the heat and lose water even quicker. To avoid heat-related conditions, it’s essential that we keep our bodies well hydrated while exercising outdoors.
Wear Proper Summer Workout Clothes
When you’re outside, it’s important to wear the proper clothes. During the hot summer workouts, your workout wear should be loose, made of breathable materials and light colored. Wearing clothes that are tight, made of non-breathing fabric and dark colored will heat your body faster while impairing the body’s natural cooling abilities.
Exercise When The Temperatures Are Coolest
Generally, early in the morning is the best time to workout. This is when the daytime temperature is still relatively cooler and more tolerable. Temperatures can easily and rapidly increase within a very short period of time so it’s important to keep track of the temperatures outside and try to avoid going out for a workout when it’s really hot or humid.
Know Your Limits
Many people believe they have to push themselves harder and faster but under the hot summer sun, this can quickly turn into a serious or even life-threatening situation. Just because you are running on a street and not on exercise equipment, doesn’t mean you have to push yourself further to benefit from your exercise. Your body will be working harder outside so it’s important to plan your activity according to what is reasonable and realistic. If you are going out on your own, it’s also a great idea to let someone else know where you are going, your route and how long you should be gone for.
Listen To Your Body
The most important part of any workout is learning to listen to our bodies. We often get signs and symptoms when something is starting or when we’ve pushed ourselves too far. By paying attention to what our body is telling us, we can respond earlier to situations and prevent any condition from becoming serious.
Working out in the great outdoors during the summer is a fun change from the norm. It is even more enjoyable when we take precautions to make sure that we are safe during our summer workouts.