It’s no secret that sunlight has many mental and physical health benefits. Moving your exercises outdoors can be beneficial, but it can also be harmful if precautions aren’t taken. Listening to your body while exercising outdoors is important to make sure no harm is caused. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your summer workouts!
1. When You Should Head Outdoors
The suns intensity is at its peak typically between the hours of 10:00am to 4:00pm. Knowing this can help you determine a good time based on your schedule to go outside to workout. Getting in a morning or afternoon workout will still help you receive the benefits from the sun but also keeping you safe from the harmful rays.
If you’re walking, running or biking consider choosing a shadier route so you can avoid direct sunlight for a long period of time.
2. Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated throughout the day is important no matter what you’re doing, but especially if you’re planning to head out into hot conditions. We do not recommend drinking a lot of water right before you head outdoors as this can cause cramping. Try timing out your water for a couple hours before you begin your workout. Also consider drinking a sports beverage with electrolytes before you workout.
You can also increase your hydration with water-rich foods such as melons, bell peppers, and celery.
3. Listen To Your Body
Taking all of the precautions is important, but ultimately your body will send you signals if it’s time for you to stop your workout and head indoors. Some signs that you may be experiencing heat exhaustion or heatstroke:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Fast strong pulse
- Passing out
- High body temperature
Remember that no matter your fitness level, everyone’s bodies need time to acclimate to the heat. Overexposure to heat can cause heat-related illnesses (heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke). Also try wearing loose fitting, light colored clothes to help keep your body cool.
4. Plan Your Workouts Around The Weather
Look at the upcoming weeks temperatures and plan your workout intensity based on the temperature for each day. No matter what workout you decide to do, always give yourself breaks in between to hydrate and let your heart rate fall.
If you have a warm up and cool down time for your workouts, try to do those indoors to cut down on your sun exposure.