As we move into summer, many will want to exercise outdoors to stay active and get some fresh air. That’s great news, as health experts recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week. Also, moving your workout outdoors can boost your mood and improve your concentration.
Trails, exercise parks, sports fields and stairs provide endless opportunities to switch up your workout. However, working out in hot and humid weather can put extra stress on your body, so consider the following tips to safely exercise outdoors:
- Avoid the hottest part of the day. If possible, plan your workout before 10 a.m. or after 3 p.m. to dodge strong sun rays.
- Wear light-colored clothing. Dark colors absorb the heat, while light colors reflect the sun. Lightweight, loose-fitting clothing will help air circulate and keep you cool.
- Apply sunscreen. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that’s at least 30 SPF. Reapply every two hours, even if the label says it’s sweatproof. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat can also protect your face from the sun.
- Stay hydrated with water. Drink water before you head out and try to take sips every 15 minutes during your workout—whether you’re thirsty or not.
- Replenish your electrolytes. Instead of reaching for a sports drink after a workout, consider replacing your electrolytes with foods like chia seeds, kale, coconut, or fruits and vegetables.
- Listen to your body. If you’re feeling dizzy, faint or nauseous, stop exercising immediately. Sit in the shade and drink water until you’re feeling better.
Your body may need to adapt to outdoor workouts, so follow its lead and gradually pick up the pace or intensity. As always, talk to your doctor before you start a new exercise regimen.