The Heat Is On!
As the temperature rises and summer heat sizzles, the motivation to get outside and exercise can melt faster than an ice cube on the 4th of July. Summer is a great time to seek out a new fitness class at the (air conditioned) gym, but if you love the benefits and cost-effectiveness of outdoor activity, check out some of these quick tips for staying cool – and safe – when exercising in the heat.
Dress for the weather.
You don’t need fancy gear to get a good workout, but clothes you wear do make a difference in keeping you cool. Skip heavy cotton t-shirts and shorts and opt for lightweight wicking fabrics. They pull moisture away and help prevent overheating. Wear a hat made from breathable material, or at least a visor to keep the sun off of your face while not trapping heat inside a ball cap.
Summer is a great time to explore your local trails and parks. Shady nature walks, bike paths, or lakeside parks will be cooler and less sunny, giving you more energy and protection from UV rays. Don’t hide from the rain! Let nature’s shower cool you down and feel like a kid again playing in the rain.
Scale back a bit. Hot weather is not the time to take on a new cardiovascular challenge. If you’re a beginner, consider a couple of shorter bouts of outdoor exercise rather than one longer workout. And, strive for consistency over intensity. Being active four to five times a week is more productive than one big workout that wipes you out!
Drink water all day long.
Keep your water bottle filled all day and sip as you work, and then drink between 8 to 12 ounces every 20 minutes when exercising. Liven up your water with lemon, lime, or other fruit juices for flavor and a mild electrolyte boost!
The benefits of outdoor exercise reach far beyond your heart, muscles, and bones. Being in nature is good for your mind and spirit, too! Find a shady place, put on your hat and sunscreen, grab your water bottle, and stay active this summer!
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– HEATHER FUSELIER, CHWC, CFP, TTS
Health Advisor | Email Heather