It’s that time of year again. Days get longer, nights become shorter, and of course the heat soars. I’m talking, of course, about summer. While it is many people’s goal to look good for summer but the exercise shouldn’t stop there. The summer is a great time of the year to take advantage of the clear days and exercise outside. However, there are some dangers to the warmer weather more intense sun. Let’s look at some ways to avoid injury and still keep on track with your goals.
1. Use Sunscreen- There is no doubt the sun can damage our skin. We all know the feeling of sunburn and how uncomfortable and painful it can be. Not to mention, too much exposure to the sun can cause skin diseases such as skin cancer. One very simple way to avoid this is to use sunscreen. Using a sweat resistant sunscreen will ensure that the sunscreen will stay on and protect you. For days that you are outside for prolonged periods, make sure to reapply. One strategy to make sure you don’t forget your sunscreen is to put it near the door when you leave.
2. Hydrate- Water is the most important thing we put in our body. With the heat rising, we will sweat more. This is a way for the body to regulate its internal temperature. If we don’t have enough water in our body, we cannot regulate this. This leads to dehydration and could even lead to a heat stroke. To stay properly hydrated, make sure you drink before, during, and after exercise. You should be drinking 8 ounces of water every 15 minutes while exercising. The first sign of dehydration is feeling thirsty so make sure you drink even if you don’t think you need to.
3. Ease into it- Make sure you give your body enough time to acclimate to the heat. Allow your body about 2 weeks to get acclimated to the increased temperatures. Shorter, less intense workouts and longer rest periods should be taken during this time. After that, your body should be able to perform well in the warm.
4. Dress for Success- What you wear can have a big impact on performance as well. Lightweight, breathable clothes are best for warmer days. Moisture wicking materials are great as they help to keep you cooler. Lighter colors will reflect the sun more than darker colors. Hats will also keep those with shorter hair from burning. Headbands will prevent sweat from going in your eyes as well. Sunglasses will also prevent your eyes from feeling the damaging rays of the sun.
5. Nutrition-Make sure you eat something as well before you exercise outside to prevent any nausea or dizziness. Having fruit can be a great way to stay energized and content during exercise.