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Summer Workout Safety

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Shorter More Often Workout Sessions Is Key

Now that temperatures are soaring nationwide, it’s important to think about safety if you plan on getting some outdoor workouts in.  There are quite a few things to consider if you plan on exerting some energy outdoors.  It’s important to remember that in most situations, the frequency of the days you work out outweigh the duration of time.  This means it does more for your body if you take it easy and safe when outdoors such as getting a 30 minute workout in 5 times a week as opposed to an hour long workout 3 times a week.

Hydrate and Stay Cool Before and After

Always start off by ensuring you are staying hydrated during the hot summer months.  This doesn’t only mean having water readily available during your workout but making sure you have enough water in your system going into the workout and drinking enough to properly recover following the workout.  Performance Inspired’s Ready 2GO Whey Protein Isolate infused with filtered water is a great option.  Speaking of water, don’t be afraid to work out in the rain.  It’s quite refreshing and can keep you cool.  As long as you have safe and steady ground to run or bike on without the risk of a slip, fall, or accident, go for it!  It’ll help you remember how fun it is to play in the rain.  As we get older, we run from it, but forget that it’s just water and if you don’t mind getting wet, there’s no harm done.  Also dealing with water, try a cold shower before you head outdoors.  I know, showering before your workout seems silly, but it really does help keep your body cool during a workout, especially if you keep your hair wet.

Wear Proper Gear/Stay In The Shade

So what happens when there’s no rain and all sun…take proper cover!  Things to consider if you’re exposed to the sun are the types of clothing you are wearing and your SPF.  If you’re planning on doing some outdoor activity, make sure you have moisture-wicking clothing on.  This will help you keep cool and dry.  The least amount of clothing you have on, the cooler you’ll be, but when thinking about working out with exposed skin like women running in sports bras or short tanks or men running without a shirt, don’t forget to protect your skin.  Remember your sunscreen!  You want to avoid a burn or future damage it may do to your skin.  Another accessory that may be extremely beneficial is a hat or cap of some sort.  It will help shade your face and works really well when you can soak your cap with cold water, helping your head keep cool.

Think about the time of day you will work out and the type of workout you will be doing.  It may take adjusting your schedule a bit, but your safety is well worth it.  Try to work out in the early morning or late evening hours when the temperature drops a bit.  If you have access to work out near the water, such a beach or lake, where the sea breeze temperatures are cooler, take full advantage.  When considering the type of workout, find one to fit the temperature.  For example, on extremely hot days, if you MUST work outdoors, think about a swim or a bike ride with the wind blowing.  If you’re going for a run, think about a path or sidewalk that is lined by trees for extra shade.  This will help with the sun beating down on you, making your workout even more grueling.

Modify Workouts/Don’t Overexert

Don’t be afraid to modify your workouts.  It is ok to shorten them if it means staying safe.  It’s also totally acceptable to take breaks, even if you’re not used to doing this.  A few days ago, I decided to go for a run in the afternoon.  Normally, on a treadmill or when it’s cooler out, I can do a 4 or 5 mile run pretty easily; however, the sun that day knocked me hard!  I never take walking breaks when I run, but that day was an exception.  I made sure I slowed my pace a little and took a walking break when I needed one.  Did it drive me crazy to do that?  Yes!  But I had to listen to my body.

Pay Attention To The State Of Your Body

Listening to your body is key during these outdoor summer workouts.  You’ll have to pause, adjust, rehydrate, and pace yourself, but it’s necessary.  Some signs of overexertion are rapid heartbeat, muscle cramps (pickle juice helps), and paling of the skin.  Pay close attention to your level of consciousness as well.  If your notice any headaches, light-headedness, or dizziness, it’s time to stop.  Nausea and vomiting are also signs that you’ve pushed too hard and need to stop immediately.

Everyone loves to get some good Vitamin D during your workout, but if you get the feeling that Mother Nature needs to take a chill pill while you’re out there, it may be a sign that you need to head indoors.  Water, clothing, time of day, and type of activity are all important, but above all, be in tune with your body.  “If you listen to your body when it whispers, you won’t have to hear it scream.”

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