Earlier this week I worked out around 3 in the afternoon in the heat of the day… outside. It is safe to say it is heating up in Birmingham. Spring has come and it seems like Summer isn’t far either. As it gets warmer, more people will feel like going for a jog or doing some yard work, but it’s important to protect yourself from the heat.
While it is hot, I wouldn’t let that stop you from your daily outdoor exercise routine. There are precautionary measures to take in order to remain healthy and look out for your safety. Here are some tips I found through my own personal experiences and Eat Right to help you keep cool while exercising outdoors.
Drink a lot of fluids. That doesn’t only include water. That includes fruit juice drinks low in sugar and sports drinks. Staying hydrated will help you when it’s hot outside and you begin to sweat. The more water your body loses when you sweat, the more that needs to be replenished. You can also enjoy water-rich foods such as crisp lettuce, watermelon, grapefruit, broccoli and yogurt. If there’s nothing you take from this, whatever you do, make sure you’re getting enough healthy fluids in your body before exercising outside.
Wear light-colored clothes when exercising in the heat and try to wear dry-fit, sweat-wicking clothing to stay light. Dark clothes can attract more heat to your body making you hotter.
Protect you skin
Apply sunscreen with SPF 15 and higher. Apply it 30 minutes before you engage in your workout and according to the package directions, you may need to re-apply depending on how long you’re outside. The label will explain. Also remember to apply insect repellant. It may not smell the best, but it will protect you from annoying mosquito bites and harmful diseases.
Watch the weather
Pay attention to the weather report. If the temperature is high in humidity, your workout could become harder. Your heart rate will rise as your body works harder to keep cool.
It’s important to recognize the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. If you’re feeling muscle cramps, weakness, dizziness, or want to vomit, QUIT what you’re doing, find shade and rest.
My advice: Don’t try to be superman or superwoman while doing activities outside.
For more information on how to stay healthy and exercise, you can visit EatRight.org