If you’ve been cramped up all winter waiting for summer to get outside and get active, now is the time to cash in on the promises you made to yourself. Exercising outdoors is invigorating but can also be dangerous if you are not equipped properly. Here are some tips to keep you safe.
Running is one of the most popular outdoor activities and it is a lot of fun to run outside. Let’s face it the thud of a treadmill quickly loses its attraction! Many people don’t even think about how the heat may be affecting them when they take to the road. However, even if you are used to being outdoors, extremes of temperature combined with your condition on any particular day can spell disaster. Always take steps to protect yourself, such as carrying enough water, wearing proper sun protection such as a hat, sunscreen and clothing, and mixing up direct sun exposure with shaded paths.
No matter what kind of exercise you plan to do here are some tips to keep you safe.
1. Wear proper clothing
So many advances have been made in fitness clothing. There are affordable clothes that wick away moisture leaving your skin dry. If you don’t want to or can’t invest in this type of clothing, wear breathable cotton. It might seem tempting to wear less clothing when you’re outside but the more exposed your skin is, the more risk you face of sunburn and even skin cancer.
2. Go out Later – Summer days are longer. That means you have even more time to be outside! Play an extra game of basketball or swim in the twilight. Enjoy the added hours of light but make a good choice and avoid spending the hottest hours of the day outside.
3. Stay hydrated – This may be the most important type. You should always have adequate water with you or have access to water supplies. Your body will need more water to stay hydrated in the heat. Having cold water at the ready can also be a lifesaver if you do get overheated.
4. Take a Timeout – Pushing your body is one thing but don’t be afraid to slow down and take a break. You are working even harder with the addition of heat and humidity. If you feel tired – stop. A good rule of thumb is to take a break every hour.
5. Eat Well – Exercising is about more than just physical activity. Have you ever heard the expression, “abs are made in the kitchen?” It won’t matter how much you work out if you’re eating junk. By making good, healthy choices you can exercise longer and receive the greatest benefit for your effort.
If you are an avid outdoor person, you can keep up the practice on warm days. Just use some common sense and stay safe. The body is a fascinating machine that works without any assistance from us but there are different factors that can complicate this process. Be aware and respond appropriately and you will be well on your way to a safe and satisfying summer outside!