Summer is the perfect time for games at the park and long walks, hikes, runs, and bike rides outside. Being able to take your exercise routine outside is a great way to switch things up and prevent workout boredom. However, the sun and the heat can be extremely harmful if you aren’t careful. According from an article on Web MD, our bodies are warmer than the environment. When that begins to change, our muscles regulate heat by releasing sweat, which allows the body to cool itself. But when the body is sweating, it’s losing fluid, which causes us to dehydrate quicker and become at risk to heat stroke and sever dehydration. “If the body can no longer cool itself,” Roberts tells WebMD, “it starts storing heat inside. The core temperature begins to rise and you put your internal organs and central nervous system at risk.”.
However, this is not to scare you! You can still workout outdoors, as long as you take the right precautions listed below.
1.) Hydrate. Dehydration is a key factor in heat illness. Help your body sweat and cool down by staying well-hydrated with water. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink fluids. Try drinking some water every 15 minutes you exercise outside to replenish the fluids you loose through sweat.
2.) Workout when it is cooler outside like early in the morning or later in the afternoon when the sun is setting. If possible, get out before 7 a.m. or after 6 p.m. to exercise in the summer months, says Roberts. This will add length to your day, and energy to your summer workout. Inevitably, heat and humidity will slow you down.
3.) Wear your sunscreen and bug spray. During early mornings, late afternoons, or exercise in wooded areas, the sun and bugs can creep up on you before you know it. Using sun screen will help to protect from UV Rays while exercising. Try for a sport kind that will stay on through sweat. Same goes for a bug spray. Nothing is worse than having a burning itch from a bug while you exercise, so plan accordingly! Apply sunscreen and bug spray at least 10-15 minutes before you go outside.
4.) Be smart. Pay attention to warning signs. If you’re unfit or new to exercise, be extra cautious when working out in the heat. Your body may have a lower tolerance to the heat. Start out slow and gradually work your way up to it! Remember that slow and steady wins the race.