If you're someone who trains outside daily, you know how quickly conditions can change as the temperature rises. If you're new to outdoor training or want to step out your outdoor workout this summer, we have some tips to keep in mind to help you meet and exceed your goals while avoiding the potential health pitfalls.
DON'T . . . Throw on just any workout gear.
DO . . . Make sure to wear moisture-wicking fabrics during the hot summer months. Dressing in layers is always a good idea since you can always remove them once you warm up. Make sure they're well fitted to keep you comfortable as you sweat.
DON'T . . . Skip your preworkout meal.
DO . . . Eating a meal with protein and carbohydrates is essential before any workout, but is especially crucial before training in heat. Pass on this crucial step and you could end up passing out. Make sure to eat again within an hour of finishing your workout, too.
DON'T . . . Forget water.
DO . . . Drink water throughout the day so your body is properly hydrated by the time you train. Make sure to always carry water on you or make sure to plan stops at water fountains into your routine/route to prevent dehydration.
DON'T . . . Leave your skin unprotected.
DO . . . Slather any exposed skin with sunscreen before going outside and reapply if needed to protect your skin from the sun's UVA and UVB rays. Make sure to use bug spray as well if you're going to be going through wooded areas or wetlands to protect yourself from bug bites.
DON'T . . . Ignore the warning signs.
DO . . . Remember the symptoms of heat stroke, which include muscle weakness, nausea, confusion and a racing heart (learn the rest here). The signs of dehydration include dry mouth, dizziness, headache and fatigue. If you start to feel badly while working out, stop and head home immediately to rehydrate and cool off, even if it means calling for a ride. If symptoms worsen, be sure to seek medical attention.
DON'T . . . Pick the peak.
DO . . . Check the weather and try to avoid the hours the sun is at its highest. Aiming for a morning or evening workout is always a safer option. Pay attention to any weather advisories as well.
DON'T . . . Stick to the same routine.
DO . . . Change up the pace, duration and type of activity to keep your workout safe. You'll be sweating buckets anyway so taking it a little easier is advised to avoid strain.
DON'T . . . Push it too hard.
DO . . . Listen to your body and know your limits. When the sun is blistering and the heat index is through the roof, it's no time to set new records. Be mindful of the conditions and how you feel before taking it to the next level.
Training outdoors is a fantastic way to change up your routine and help you stay motivated by the changing scenery and terrain. Follow these guidelines and you'll be on your way to a seriously fit summer. Stay well!