If you enjoy exercising outdoors, the heat during the summer months can become problematic if you don’t take the proper precautions. We have provided a list of tips for staying safe and well during outdoor workouts to help you deal with the heat.
When it’s hot, humid and muggy, it’s even more important to drink and stay properly hydrated. Not drinking enough water can cause you to become dehydrated, which can leave you feeling light-headed, nauseous and fatigued. In the worst cases, dehydration can even cause heat exhaustion or heat stroke, so it is important to keep your body cool by drinking plenty of water.
But Not Too Hydrated
Now that doesn’t mean that you should overdo it and drink too much because that can have an adverse effect because if you consume too much water, without first replenishing your electrolytes, you can experience hyponatremia. When your sodium level in your blood is super low, this condition presents itself and as a result, you can become confused, feel sick to your stomach or experience muscle cramps. Extreme cases can even result in seizure or death, so as you can imagine, staying hydrated is critical to your health.
To help stay hydrated remember to:
- Drink a glass of water when you wake up in the morning
- Drink a glass or two of water before going out to exercise & when finished
- Carry water or a hydration pack when exercising
- Drink about 4 oz of water every 15-20 minutes throughout the day
- Eat Healthy (fruits and veggies are rich in water and will help replace electrolyte loss)
Take it Easy
If you aren’t accustomed to working out in the heat, be sure to ease up and take it easy. If you must exercise outside in the extreme heat, be sure to listen to your body. Don’t push too much and if you ever feel faint, dizzy, light-headed or develop a headache, muscle cramp, nausea, vomiting or a rapid heartbeat, slow down and find air-conditioning as fast as you can.
If it is hot outside, it helps to wear light-colored clothing so that instead of absorbing the heat, it is reflected. Clothes shouldn’t be tight and should be cotton, which helps with the evaporation of sweat. If you exercise often, you may even want to consider purchasing some of the “hi-tech” exercise clothing that is available because they help wick away moisture (sweat) and keep you cool.
Be Aware of the Weather
Take the time to check the daily weather forecast. If the weather is too hot or there is a heat advisory, take your workout inside. A heat advisory means there is high ozone and air pollution that can damage your lungs and why would you want to risk that?
Consider the Time of Day
Unless you have a particular reason for exercising during the warmest part of the day (such as training for a marathon that takes place in similar conditions), don’t do it! On sweltering days, everyone should avoid exercising between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. The best times to exercise are when it’s cooler outside, which is around dusk and dawn. We find that the best time to workout outside is during the wee morning hours. Remember that if you aren’t able to get outside when the weather is conducive for exercising, you can and should take it inside!
Looking to take your exercise routine inside to a fitness club located in or around Petaluma, CA?
If so, be sure to check out The Redwood Club.
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