As we move into summer, many will want to exercise outdoors to stay active and get some fresh air. That’s great news, as experts recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week. Working out in hot and humid weather can put extra stress on your body; however, there are simple precautions you can take to protect yourself.
By moving your workout outdoors, you can boost your mood and improve your concentration. Also, you don’t need to stick to your own yard or neighborhood. Jogging trails, exercise parks, sports fields and stairs provide endless opportunities to switch up your workout. Keep in mind the following tips to safely exercise outside during the summer:
- Avoid the hottest part of the day. If possible, plan your workout before 10 a.m. or after 3 p.m. to dodge those strong sun rays.
- Wear light-colored clothing. Dark colors absorb the heat, while light colors will reflect the sun. Lightweight, loose-fitting clothing will help air circulate and keep you cool.
- Apply sunscreen. Opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that’s at least 30 SPF. Reapply every two hours, even if the label says it’s sweatproof. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat can also protect your face from sun exposure.
- Stay hydrated with water. Drink water before you head out, and try to take sips every 15 minutes during your workout—whether you’re thirsty or not.
- Replenish your electrolytes. Instead of reaching for a sports drink after a workout, consider replacing electrolytes through real food like chia seeds, kale, coconut, or fruits and vegetables.
- Listen to your body. If you’re feeling dizzy, faint or nauseous, stop immediately. Sit down in the shade and drink some water until you’re feeling better.
Your body may need to adapt to outdoor workouts, so follow its lead and gradually pick up the pace or intensity. As always, talk to your doctor before you start a new exercise regimen.