Staying Active in the Hot Months

While you want a productive work out, it’s important to prepare yourself for the environment you train in.  During the summer months, many people prefer to workout in the outdoors.  If you enjoy basking in the sun as you get your cardio fitness in, here are some tips to staying healthy and hydrated.

Whether you are intentionally working out or not, it’s easy to get overheated and struggle to complete a hearty workout.  From playing sports to speed walking, whatever exercise you’ve chosen to participate in, if you are not prepared for your activities, you could experience adverse effects of your good intentions.  Before you go for your jog into the sunset, make sure you have everything you need to stay hydrated.

Living in a state known for its hot weather, you need to prepare your body before you endure an outdoor workout.  The first tip to staying healthy is to time your workouts.  If you are playing basketball with friends or preparing for a 10K, time yourself to avoid extreme heat.  Wake up a little early to run, get your friends together once the sun has set, but whatever you do, avoid the hottest part of the day for outdoor activities.  While you might not notice the heat at first, after putting stress on your body, you’ll become dehydrated and lightheaded.

The heat has an uncanny ability to affect your body when you least expect it.  Because there is extra stress on your body from the heat, you may experience serious illness.  When you face incredible heat, your body steps in to help cool itself.  By sending blood through your skin, your muscles are left with less blood than necessary, which causes your heart rate to rise.  With not enough blood and a fast heart rate, you are at a higher risk for a serious illness.

Before you begin your workout, make sure you are wearing the proper clothing.  Find workout attire that keeps your body cool and allows for circulation.  By wearing the right clothing and avoiding the heat of the day, you can save yourself from facing heat-related illnesses.

However, if you do find yourself overheated and exhausted, hydration can help.  Make sure you drink enough fluids to cool your body and increase your hydration.  When your body is overheated, you can experience illnesses ranging from a heatstroke to heat cramps.

Heat cramps take place when the muscles contract.  These painful contractions can affect your quadriceps, calves, and abdominal muscles.  A heatstroke takes place when your body temperature exceeds 104 degrees.  A heatstroke is a life threatening condition and can cause irritability and confusion or more serious illnesses such as brain damage or organ failure.

Living a healthy lifestyle is important, but it’s also important to find the right time and place.  If you enjoy outdoor workouts, find a safe and cool time.  Enjoy your outdoor workout by finding the perfect timing, staying hydrated, and wearing the appropriate workout attire.