Fitness & Exercise

Staying Safe and Hydrated: Essential Tips for Outdoor Summer Workouts

Staying Safe and Hydrated: Essential Tips for Outdoor Summer Workouts
Written by Guest Author

By Tammy Pitts 

As summer approaches, many people look forward to moving their workouts outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine. However, working out in the heat is not only uncomfortable, but it can be downright dangerous if you don’t take the proper precautions.

Here are 11 simple things you can do to make that steamy outdoor walk or run a little more comfortable while keeping yourself safe.

Staying Safe and Hydrated: Essential Tips for Outdoor Summer Workouts

1. Start Early (or Late in Evening)

You’ll want to avoid exercising during the hottest parts of the day. Work out in the early morning before the heat of the day sets in, or later in the evening as the sun is setting.

2. Keep it Light (Clothing)

Wear loose, light-colored clothing that promotes airflow and reflects heat. Don’t forget a hat if you’re going to be running a long distance – you can get sunburn on the top of your head.

3. Drink Up (Before You Work Out)

Before you begin your run around the neighborhood, bike ride, or stroll through the woods, drink at least 8 ounces of water 30 minutes before heading out. This will ensure your body is hydrated ahead of time.

4. Stay Hydrated

While you’re outdoors, aim to drink at least 8 ounces of cold water for every 15 minutes of exercise. Consider walking with a water bottle that will keep your water ice cold.

5. Monitor Your Body

Pay attention to your body. Symptoms like muscle cramps, headache, nausea, and dizziness are signs your body is too hot and you need to take a break. If, after a few minutes, you still don’t feel well, get in the air conditioning, drink an electrolyte drink, and take a cold shower

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Recognize dehydration symptoms:

  • Dry mouth
  • Chills or fever
  • Dry or tightened skin
  • Feeling lightheaded

If you begin feeling any of those symptoms, hydrate immediately. If the symptoms persist or you feel severely ill, call 911.

6. Pace Yourself

Maintain a steady pace – overexertion can be dangerous. Start slowly and increase intensity gradually to let your body adapt to the heat. 

7. Keep Your Cool

LawnStarter lawn care pro Justin Stultz beats the heat by keeping his neck cool. You might want to follow his lead. He wraps his neck with a frozen or cold bandana to better weather the Texas summer heat. 

8. Don’t Get Bit (by Mosquitoes)

arm yourself with protection from annoying mosquito bites. If exercising in your yard, a mosquito misting system is a great way to keep your space bug-free.

9. Don’t Get Hit

Jogging or running can be more challenging in summer when young drivers are out of school and on the road. Keep your eyes on the path ahead of you and everything around you. 

If you get started very early or very late (before sunrise or after sunset), wear a headlamp to light your way (and so drivers see you). 

10. Stay Safe

Carrying pepper spray is a smart idea for women and men, especially if you’re exercising in a sketchy neighborhood. Pepper spray can be a deterrent for people and vicious dogs.

11. Cool Down

After working out, stretch and apply ice or a cold washcloth to your wrists and neck to bring your body temperature down. Techniques such as cooling breaths or jumping in a cold pool can be key to lowering your body’s temperature. 

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Enjoy a post-workout snack that includes hydrating foods like watermelon, strawberries, and oranges or a cold yogurt with fruit, Popsicles, and even a salad with cold grilled chicken.

Bonus Tips for Smart Workouts

A great workout requires some prep work on your part. you have to eat right, as momma always said. You also have to know whether you’re up to a run or exercise outdoors and mind the weather. You want to be Walking on Sunshine, as the song goes, and not running in a sudden hailstorm.

  • Stay Inside (if it’s too Humid Outdoors)

    Extremely humid conditions can hinder your body’s ability to cool off. So, if it’s extremely humid out, you should consider working out inside.
  • Be Well

    Stay home if you’re feeling sick. When sick, the body is already dehydrated and needs restorative rest. If you’re feeling under the weather, it’s best to remain indoors out of the heat.
  • Eat Light

    Avoid working out after eating heavy meals as digestion can divert energy from cooling your body.
  • Check the Weather

Summer storms can spring up suddenly. You don’t want to get caught in a downpour or thunderstorm. Check the forecast before you head out the door.

 

By taking these precautions, you can safely enjoy your outdoor workouts this summer and reduce your risk of heat-related health risks.

AUTHOR’S BIO:

Tammy has an extensive background in journalism, media relations, social media strategy, marketing, and brand management. She resides in Michigan with her family which includes her two sons and their Goldendoodle, Max. In her free time, she loves to read and travel.

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