The mercury is rising and we all want to spend more time outside! Going for a run along the river, hiking all the amazing trails, riding your bike on the loop, or swimming laps in the pool. All of these are great ways to exercise outdoors, but beware; there are many mistakes that people make in this kind of heat! Take our advice and pay attention to these do's and don'ts of summer fitness to keep yourself healthy & safe!
DO - cool down before you warm up
Did you know that if you lower your core body temperature before you workout, it can help you to delay fatique. One of the best ways to do this is to sip on an icy slushie before your workout. An easy way to do this is to blend your preworkout with some ice and water or use a mix such as zero calorie crystal light energy packets. Your body has to use more energy to cool the temperatur of the ice and water and therefore is unable to store it and heat your core temperature; keeping you cooler longer!
DONT - run in cotton socks
Cotton socks are the worst choice for hot workouts. When they are 100% cotton they soak up and hold more moisture than other materials. Also, cotton is more likely to lose its shape and fit which can cause friction and lead to blisters or heat rash. It is safer to go with a nylon sock or special moisture wicking material.
DO - get outside
Getting outside and enjoying the fresh air for as little as 5 minutes has been proven time and time again to help boost your mood. And recently its been shown that the effects seem to be even greater when near water. So take out your bike or go for a walk on your lunch along the loop trail. You will feel better and more productive afterwards!
DONT - forget the sunscreen
I know that we all want that coveted glowing tan for summer time, but that is no reason to skip the sunscreen. Exposure to the harmful rays can increase aging and cause serious skin cancer. Even if you are in the water, shade, or its cloudy, lather up! You should be using at least SPF 15 or higher. Apply it 30 minutes before you head outside for your workout and be sure to reapply often! Gotta keep that skin young and healthy!
DO - avoid the midday heat
The suns rays are strongest between 10am - 4pm during the summertime, so going on a challenging midday run may not be your best bet. This heat means that you are at a higher risk for UV damage as well as more likely to get cramps, dehydrations, or heat exhaustion. So save that 5 mile run for the morning or evening when it is likely to be much cooler outside.
DONT - break a sweat in black
I know that black may slim your waist and thighs, but it can also lead you to faster fatigue and heat exhaustion. Dark tight clothing can trap heat against your body which can cause you to overheat much faster and make cooling down much harder. Your best bet is to wear light colored looser clothing. The more air that hits your body the less your body has to work to keep you cool!
DO - stay super hydrated
Did you know that by the time you actually feel thirsty, you are already 10% dehydrated! The biggest thing is to make sure you are trying to drink at the very least 8 glasses of 8 oz of water (the 8x8 rule...pretty easy to remember). If you spend a lot of time working out or in the sun you should try to drink even more. Keeping your body properly hydrated in the heat of summer is vital. A good goal to aim for? Drink 8 oz of water about 1.5 - 2 hours before your workout and another 8oz about 30 minutes before your workout. Then make the best effort possible to stay hydrated throughout your exercise routine as well. This will help to ensure that your muscles are hydrated and your body is staying cool!
The heat can be dangerous, but only if you don't take precautions! Be safe & have fun this summer (: and don't forget to take advantage of the beautiful place that we live in!!!