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In spring, when the weather starts to get nicer, many people start enjoying outdoor activities.
As soon as summer sets in, though, outdoor temperatures can rise above 86°F (30°C), and, depending on where you live, it may also be incredibly humid. In conditions like that, it’s vitally important to keep cool while working out.
If you’re going to work out or be active outdoors this summer, be sure to stay cool by taking these five precautions:
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1. Wear A Hat
The right kind of hat – a thin one made from material that wicks the sweat away from your skin – will help keep you cooler. Also, it’ll be easier to see if you wear a hat with a brim to keep the sun out of your eyes.
While we’re on that subject, you should always wear sunglasses while exercising outside, too. Too many UV rays from the sun can damage your retinas.
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2. Wear Comfortable, Warm-Weather Exercise Gear
Like your hat, the exercise gear you choose in summer should be made from a sweat-wicking fabric. This will keep you cooler and more comfortable.
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3. Stay Out Of The Sun During Peak Hours
The sun’s peak hours – the hours when sunlight is shining directly down on you – are between 10:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M. If at all possible, you should avoid all outdoor activities during those hours. If you must be outside at that time of day, find an area with plenty of shade.
If you can, try to plan your outdoor activities for days when the humidity and temperature are relatively low.
4. Stay Well-Hydrated
Every day, be sure to keep drinking water all day long, not just while exercising. You don’t want to take the risk of becoming dehydrated while you’re out in the hot sun.
Never go to a workout or exercise session without water, and always start drinking it before you start feeling thirsty. (The sensation of thirst is a signal that you’re already dehydrated.) It also helps to eat hydrating snacks, like watermelon slices or oranges.
If your exercise session runs for an hour or more, you also need to replace the electrolytes you’ve lost. You can do that by drinking a sports drink.
5. Don’t Worry About Missing Workouts
If there’s an extreme heat or humidity alert in your area, don’t force yourself to go out and exercise. Either take a day off from working out, or go to a gym with air conditioning. Your regular workout isn’t worth the risk of dehydration or heat stroke.
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