Beat the Heat: How to Stay Safe When Exercising Outside

July 16, 2015

With the heat of the summer on, exercising outside can be dangerous. From overheating to dehydration, knowing how to stay safe when exercising outside is something all women should know, athlete or not. Don’t ignore these basic rules.

Wear Sunscreen

Even if you are exercising on a cloudy day, you can still get burned. Choose a sunscreen that provides 50 SPF protection and reapply regularly. Avoid spray on sunscreen and sunscreens that claim to be over 50 SPF. Not only are aerosols bad for the environment, but anything over 50 SPF doesn’t work.

Stay Hydrated

Before, during and after exercising outdoors, it is very important to drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated will keep your muscles and cardiovascular system functioning as they should, as well as allowing you to sweat.

Sweating may seem gross, but it is essential to maintain your body temperature. When you sweat, you lose a lot of:

When you lose these three components, you are losing necessary nutrients and minerals. If you have cramping, that is usually a sign that you need potassium in your diet. You can replenish electrolytes with a sports drink like Gatorade. Never drink soft drinks when exercising. Soft drinks contain sugar and caffeine, both of which will dehydrate you even more. Balance sports drinks with water.

Check the Humidity

Even though sweating cools you down, it cannot do so on a humid day. That is why you should not only check the temperature outside before you exercise, but also the humidity. Humidity will make a hot day seem even more unbearable because the sweat will not be evaporating off of your body as it should. If you have to exercise outside on a humid day, take precautions and regularly find cool places to rest.

Listen to Your Body

While you need to push yourself to get stronger or faster, watch out for any warning signs that you’re pushing yourself too hard. If you begin to experience these symptoms, stop exercising and take a break:

  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Cramping

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