With the summer sun begging you to venture outdoors and warm your skin, you may be inspired to take your exercise routine outside. An outdoor summer workout can offer a fun change of scenery from your gym, but there are a few things to keep in mind to protect yourself from the summer heat.
Follow these simple, important tips to ensure you stay safe and hydrated while working out in the sun.
Sunscreen is a must
It’s important to protect your skin from the sun. Not only do sunburns hurt, but it increases the risk of premature skin aging and skin cancer. It’s a good idea to choose a sunscreen with a sports formula that’s designed to withstand a workout and won’t be washed away by sweat. And be sure to reapply at two-hour intervals to keep your skin protected.
Choose your time wisely
Avoid the hottest part of the day. If you’re craving some fresh air, rise early to catch the cool of the morning or go out at sunset or later. In the heat of midday (typically between 10am and 4pm) take cover under shade.
This is an easy way to enjoy a summer workout while lowering the risks that come with performing physical activity during peak hours.
Wear loose, light-colored clothing
Dark colors absorb the heat, which can make you feel as if you’re wrapped in a warm blanket. Keep it loose and light by gearing up in breathable, moisture-wicking or mesh materials to keep your body cool. Put on a hat and sunglasses to avoid getting a sunburn on your scalp and protect our eyes.
Remember to drink water
Our body’s natural cooling system can start to fail if we’re exposed to soaring temperatures for too long. So staying hydrated is a top priority when working out.
To keep you cool, carry a reusable water bottle with you and drink plenty of water. Aim for 8 to 10 ounces every 20 minutes, even when you’re not thirsty. When you're done with your workout, have a few more glasses of water.
Replenish your electrolytes
The summer heat can zap your electrolytes fast, so be sure to replenish with foods rich in the minerals needed to keep your body balanced. Try a post-workout snack of bananas, olives, nut butter or leafy green veggies to give your electrolyte levels a boost.
Know the symptoms of a heat stroke
Heat stroke is a serious threat that can be fatal. Symptoms include:
- High body temperature (104°F or 40°C or higher)
- Absence of sweating with hot, flushed, or red/dry skin
- Altered mental state or behavior, including confusion, agitation, slurred speech and seizures
- Nausea and vomiting
- Rapid breathing
- Racing heart rate