Summertime in my home state of Texas is hot. Not the regular kind of hot, but the kind of hot that makes you want to hibernate from the end of May until the beginning of September. With temperatures hovering around 100 degrees, it’s hard to get motivated to do anything outdoors – especially exercise.
But exercise is important and you must get the proper amount of physical activity even during the hot summer months. However, you have to take the proper precautions when planning your summer workout routine. The combination of exercise and heat increases your core body temperature and decreases blood circulation. Because of this strain, you may get headaches more frequently and you run the risk of suffering from a heat stroke.
In my former careers as a safety professional, I taught my employees how to effectively perform rigorous physical activities without succumbing to the heat. I’d like to share some safety tips for exercising outdoors during the summer.
Protect Your Skin
Regardless of your skin tone, always wear sunscreen. Skin cancer does not discriminate.
Wear Appropriate Clothing
During the hot summer months, wear thin, breathable clothes while exercising outdoors. Light colors help to reflect sunlight.
Allow Your Body to Become Acclimated to the Weather
After exiting an air-conditioned building, your body needs some time to adjust to the higher temperatures. Ease into your workout routine slowly by stretching, walking, or doing some low-impact exercises.
Be Flexible with Your Routine
If you must be active outdoors, schedule activity before 10 a.m. or after 7 p.m and stay indoors when the humidity is too high. If your area has regular ozone or air-quality alerts, avoid strenuous outdoor exercises.
Be sure to stay hydrated by drinking water before, during, and after your workout. Try to refrain from drinking beverages that leave you parched, such as soda and excessive amounts of caffeine or alcohol. After your workout, moisturize your skin to keep your whole body hydrated. I use Retinol Body Lotion with Vitamin A, which is probably the most important vitamin for the appearance of the skin. It is also one of the few vitamins that can be absorbed through the skin to provide direct benefits.
Take frequent breaks in the shade or in cooler areas to keep your body temperature regulated.
Stop if You Don’t Feel Right
If you start to experience headaches, lightheadedness, cramps, or other discomforts, stop exercising and seek shelter/and or medical attention.