Some of you head indoors now for your summer workouts in the cool comfort of an air-conditioned gym to escape the heat. And some are gluttons for punishment who still enjoy exercising outdoors even when temps are soaring.
If you take your workout outside in the summer, it’s ok provided you “exercise” a little caution to protect yourself from sunburn, dehydration and heat exhaustion which can lead to injuries like strained muscles and ligaments.
Most of us know that by noon, our temps can reach the triple digits, so your fist order of business is to plan your workout for either earlier in the morning or later in the evening when the sun has gone down.
Other tips to make your warm-weather workout more bearable include:
- Wearing light, breathable, moisture-wicking clothing. Remember your hat and sunscreen too.
- Opting for shadier streets and trails if running, biking or hiking. Even if this means driving a few minutes out of your way, it may be worth it to bypass more sun-exposed areas.
- Slowing down your pace. If aiming for a 30-minute workout, move with lesser intensity or build in several smaller intervals to avoid overheating. Run shorter distances too, even if it takes longer.
- Splitting up your workouts. Do 15 minutes in the morning and 15 at night. You’ll still log your recommended daily 30 minutes of physical activity.
- Drinking up, before, during, and after. Staying hydrated is extremely important if exercising outdoors–it helps prevent dizziness, cramps, headaches, and aids in muscle recovery after your workout. A good rule is to sip four to eight ounces of water every 15 to 20 minutes.
Additionally, if you have a serious medical condition like arthritis or osteoporosis, check with your physician or contact us for an appointment with one of our specialists to discuss the effects of your working out in the heat.
(Adapted from Shape.com)
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