Most of us are probably like flowers to the sun during summertime. It feels good to be outside, and even better to take our workouts outdoors!
But the joys of outdoor summertime workouts does come with the potential serious risk of excessive heat exposure, including dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. To keep yourself safe this summer while exercising and moving around in the great outdoors, keep the following tips in mind.
5 Ways to Make Sure Your Workouts Stay Safe in the Heat
1) Spend some extra time warming up.
Our bodies need to acclimate to the hotter temperatures, especially if we're not used to hotter and/or muggier climates throughout the year.
Commit to taking at least 10 to 15 minutes for an adequate warm-up where you can slowly get your heart rate up and your joints, muscles, and connective tissues prepared for exertion. Don't buy into the inaccurate (albeit tempting) idea that because it's hot out your body is already "loose."
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2) Drink TONS of water—but add a pinch of sea salt to it.
You sweat because you workout—but in the summertime, you'll also be sweating to keep your body cool against the heat. This means you'll need to replenish your fluids much more readily (pro tip: if you feel thirsty, you're already dehydrated).
But drinking TOO much water can also lead to problems (including electrolyte imbalances, especially since you sweat out a lot of electrolytes anyway). For a natural and super refreshing way to stay hydrated then, we recommend adding a pinch of sea salt to your water bottle.
3) Respect the way your body tries to communicate with you.
If you start to notice any unusual signs or symptoms—including lightheadedness, dizziness, heart palpitations, fatigue, and cramps—then stop working out! These are classic symptoms of dehydration or potentially more serious heat-related complications like heat stroke (which can be fatal in severe cases).
Seriously: in the heat, don't be a hero (unless being a hero means listening to your body). Ignoring classic signs of heat complications can lead to significant consequences you just don't deserve.
4) Time your workouts wisely.
On particularly hot days, you may want to move your workout to earlier in the morning or later in the evening. This way, you won't have to deal with the heat index when it's at its strongest.
5) Modify your workouts as needed.
That 80+ degree day may not be ideal for trying to PR your 10k time. Stick to low or moderate intensity workouts on ultra hot days, or shorten your workouts altogether.
Cheers to a safe and fun summer! Our friendly staff is always available to answer your fitness-related questions and help you keep your workouts challenging, smart, and fun no matter what time of year. Talk to us at the front desk today!