Stay Safe While Exercising This Summer
It’s no secret: summer in Texas is hot. It also isn’t a secret how exercising in extreme heats can cause lead to dehydration and more seriously heat exhaustion or heat stroke. When exercising this summer– especially if you choose to exercise outdoors– keep these tips in mind to stay safe.
Protect your skin
Before heading outside for your run or bike-ride, make sure you put on sunscreen. Skin damage is an issue many Americans face, and too much damage can lead to skin cancer. Opt for water-proof sunscreen, and don’t forget to reapply. Also wear clothing that is not only light in weight, but light in color. Light colors reflect the sun’s rays, which will help you from overheating and experiencing skin damage. Light-weight lead to better breathability.
Consider the time of day
The hottest times of the day are between 10:00 am and 4:00 p.m. This is when the sun is hitting the earth most directly, which cranks up the heat. Unless you are training for an event that occurs during this timeframe, avoid exercising outdoors at these times. Instead, get outside early in the morning or later in the evening.
Stay in the shade
If you know a particular area is more likely to be shaded be tree or building coverage, consider taking your exercise on that path. This will help keep you cooler while exercising outdoors. If possible, combine the last step with this one– exercise in a shady area in the morning or evening.
Try running in the rain
If rain showers are forecasted, don’t wait until just before or just after the rain. Despite the cooler temperatures, the humidity will spike, making for a less than pleasant experience. Instead, protect your valuables and go for a run in the rain. It is a great way to stay cool, as well as a slightly different workout. Just make sure there is no lightning beforehand!
Partake in water activities
In a similar vein, take your exercise to the water. Swim laps or do water aerobics in a pool. Try water skiing, surfing, or wakeboarding at the ocean or a lake. These exercises will certainly get your heart pumping, but they will keep you cook. Just remember to actually drink water and to reapply your sunscreen throughout your time exposed to the sun.
Keep your most intense workouts indoors
If your harder workouts don’t have to be outdoors, then don’t do them outdoors. Take them to the air-conditioned gym where you can push yourself harder without having to worry about heat exhaustion/stroke.
Don’t forget to stay hydrated!
Most people don’t drink enough water in the first place, and staying hydrated in the summer is doubly important. Pre-hydrate before your workout and drink water periodically throughout. When you finish, drink another two cups. If you are concerned about replenishing your electrolytes, have a low-sugar sports drink.
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