Exercising outdoors can be invigorating, a great morale booster and combines two CREATION Health principles: Environment and Activity.
But, it’s important that you take a few simple steps to stay safe, no matter the season. In warm weather, check out your local heat index, and listen for any ozone warning that it’s unsafe to be outdoors before you make the decision to exercise outside. When first working out in the heat, start with short sessions, then gradually increase length and intensity as your body adapts. As the temperature heats up over summer months, adapt your outdoor exercise accordingly.
Here are some hot weather essentials:
- Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing to stay cooler — dark colors absorb heat.
- Wear a light-colored wide-brimmed hat or cap to protect your head and face from the sun.
- Carry extra water with you since dehydration can happen sooner than in cooler temperatures.
Know the signs of heat illnesses:
- Heat cramps — muscle contractions even without a rise in body temperature.
- Exercise-associated collapse — lightheadedness or fainting immediately after exercising.
- Heat exhaustion — rise in body temperature, nausea, headache, weakness and clammy skin.
- Heatstroke — a life-threatening emergency where the body temperature is over 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
Stay well hydrated regardless of the outside temperature. Drink water before, during and after your workout, even if you don’t feel thirsty. You can become dehydrated from sweating and other factors even in cold weather, yet may not notice it as quickly. If you have a medical condition, check with your doctor before you head outdoors. You may need to take special precautions.