Staying safe in the summer heat can be difficult, this is especially true for the avid fitness junkie who enjoys getting in their usual outdoor workout. It’s important to remember that the summer heat can not only put a damper on your usual workout routine, but it can also be deadly if you work out too hard or don’t follow summer heat safety rules. This summer heat safety guide for is for fitness junkies who love getting in their workout outdoors.
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I love a good workout and I also absolutely love getting my fitness fix in outdoors, in addition to getting a better work out, in my opinion, I also usually benefit from longer workouts and a more varied session. I was a competitive swimmer and soccer player when I was younger, and as I got older I still enjoy jogging, swimming laps, and playing tennis.
With all the fun summer sports it can be SUPER easy to forget that the heat can cause major problems while you’re outdoors, especially if you begin later in the morning when it isn’t so hot. The temperature can rise rapidly and combined with your exhaustion and water loss from working out you can find yourself at risk for heat stroke very quickly.
If you’re someone who has decided that they plan to be committed to a workout schedule no matter what kind of weather is going on then you’ve probably been trying to do some research on what kinds of things are a good idea, and which things are a bad idea. During the winter time, it’s easy to put on more clothes to get comfortable, but what about the hotter summer months? This article will be covering a few tips on how to get your fitness on in the summer heat.
Check The Weather
Take a look at your local forecast. The last thing you want to do is plan a summer hike, only to find out you are walking up a mountain in 100-degree heat. If you see that it’s going to be unseasonably hot, then you might want to think twice about doing certain parts of your workout. It’s good to stay aware of any possible pollution or air quality warnings. If you know that the weather will be cooperative with your efforts, you can plan accordingly. Just because it’s cool when you walk out of the door, doesn’t mean it won’t get hot quickly. Take a look at when it’s going to be the hottest during the day and that way you are prepared.
Pick A Good Time of Day
The first thing you should be thinking about is what time you’ll be exercising. As a general rule, it’s not really ideal to do your routine until it has cooled down. That means that you will either have to go early from 7 – 9 am or you will have to go later in the day such as 4 pm. If you are planning on making a workout routine a habit then it’s usually recommended to take care of your routine during the early morning hours. That way you have the entire rest of your day for work and other life tasks.
Give Your Skin Room
One way to stay cool is to wear looser clothes so that your skin can have greater ventilation. Wearing a lighter color like white will help your body to stay cool by reflecting the light away from you. There are also specially designed clothes today that can offer greater ventilation and moisture wicking properties. The clothes that you wear when your working out can either help or hurt you in the summer months. Picking these carefully can help you to make sure that you don’t overheat and that you’ll be able to spend longer working out. It’s definitely no fun to have to come home early from a workout session, just because you don’t have the proper clothing. There are so many options to choose from and many of them are quite affordable.
Drink A Lot of Water
This one should go without saying, but a lot of people live their lives while dehydrated without being aware of it. Hydration helps your cells to continue to function. Try to take a drink once every 15 minutes during workouts to be sure that you’re replenishing the water that you’re losing in the form of sweat.
If you’re hiking you can choose to take a water botter like a camelback, which will help you to continually drink water while you’re hiking and you won’t have to ever keep a hold of a water bottle, which is nice if you enjoy hiking with a walking stick or like to take photographs while you hike.
If you’re planning to do a water work out, in a pool or enjoy surfing, it can be easy to forget that you need to drink water because you don’t suffer from the heat quite as much as if you were running. This can be a dangerous trap for summer fitness junkies, who love to spend their days by the beach. Make sure to carry a cooler with you loaded with ice and bottled water and take breaks regularly to eat small snacks and take a drink of water.
For tips on cooking light during the summer, check out my post, The Benefits of Eating Lighter During the Summer Plus Recipes
Listen to Your Body
This is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that you stay safe in the summer heat is to listen to your body. The most important thing on this list is that you remain aware of the signals that your body is sending you. Your body has a lot of ways of sending you signs to let you know there is a problem, so you don’t want to ignore those messages.
One of the best ways to monitor your body’s needs is with a fitness watch, like a Fitbit or an Apple Watch.
I bought a Fitbit last year and really loved mine. I used it to track how many steps I took every day and found that each day I tried to beat the day before. The Fitbit does something really neat when you haven’t moved around for a while, it will actually tell you to get up and move around. I also used the meditation/deep breathing feature pretty frequently to help me manage my stress and increase my oxygen levels.
If you don’t have a smartwatch, consider learning how to manually check your heart rate. This doesn’t take very long and it’s pretty easy to master.
Tell a Friend
When you are leaving to go for a morning run or hike, make sure to tell a friend or family member who will check on you if you don’t arrive home when you’re supposed to. Summer heat isn’t the only danger you encounter when exercising outdoors and making sure that you communicate your plans with others is important. If you get stranded and you’ve told your family members your jogging route or exercise plans they’ll know where to go to look for you. It’s really a good idea to make sure that you take a charged cell phone with you or are using an Apple Watch. These can help you call for help if you get in a dangerous situation.
What do you think of these tips?
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