You may have heard that regular physical activity can add years to your life, and with the weather warming up, now is the perfect time to ramp up your fitness level and practice healthy aging. The warm sun and extra hours of daylight make the summer and early fall months ideal for outdoor activities and exercise.
Summer is the best time to achieve your weight loss goals, but it’s important to remember our tips for getting the most from your workouts, staying safe, and getting enough hydration. Read on for more information about working out during the summer.
- Stay cool. One of the most obvious tips about exercising in warm weather is the importance of staying hydrated. Making sure you are properly hydrated before starting your workout could help delay dehydration, while helping to maintain your performance and decreasing the risk for heat-related illness. Continue drinking water while working out, especially if your workout lasts longer than an hour. Also, if you feel overheated, avoid cooling down externally by running through a sprinkler or jumping in a pool or cold shower. The most effective way to cool your body temperature is to ingest water.
- Exercise early. It’s best to exercise earlier in the day when the temperature is cooler. It’s safer, and you will probably get a better workout because you will have more energy. Research has proven that the endurance and capacity to exercise in the heat is greater in the morning instead of the evening, and that early morning workouts lower skin temperature.
- Dress for exercise success. Wearing lightweight clothing that helps your sweat evaporate will help you stay cool and avoid causing skin issues like heat rashes that can occur from sweaty workouts.
- Electrolytes. When you work out in warmer temperatures, salt depletion in your body could contribute to heat exhaustion. Even if you rehydrate, you can lose electrolytes, which are comprised of sodium and potassium. Electrolytes need to be replaced to replenish sodium levels, and small snacks such as nuts or pumpkin seeds are a quick and easy way to refuel.
- Wear sunscreen. Another obvious, but sometimes forgotten tip is protecting your skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun, which might help prevent skin cancer. (According to skincancer.org, almost five million people are treated for skin cancer every year in the U.S., and one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.) ESPN online suggests applying “sport-formulated or waterproof sunscreen” before beginning your outdoor workout, and being vigilant about reapplying it if you are going to be out in the sun longer than two hours. Ideally, it’s suggested to apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before starting your outdoor workout.
Incorporating some, or all, of these tips into your summer workout could help you burn more calories, stay safe, and reap the benefits or working out year round.