If you like to exercise outdoors, here are some tips from the exercise team at the Pritikin Longevity Center for cooling down your workout and staying safe and well. there are some tips for enjoying a safe, summer exercise program.
1. Avoid the hottest part of the day:
Rise early to catch the cool of the morning, or go out at sunset or later. In the heat of midday (typically between 10 am and 4 pm) take cover under shade. Jump in a pool. Sign up for an aqua-aerobics class. And carry a fan/spray bottle for skin surface cooling.
2. Wear light-coloured, lightweight clothing:
Dark colours absorb the heat, which can make you feel as if you’re wrapped in a warm blanket. Heavyweight, tight-fitting clothing will also heat you up. Keep it loose. Keep it light. More air will be able to circulate over your skin, keeping you cool.
3. The time of day is important:
Unless you are training for an event that takes place in the daytime heat, avoid exercising from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It's the hottest part of the day. Generally, the early morning is the best time to workout, especially if it's going to be scorcher that day.
4. Sunscreen is a must:
I use SPF 45 just to be safe. It's important to protect your skin. You can get burned and suffer sun damage to your skin even on cloudy days.
5. Stay hydrated:
Before you go out, drink a glass or two of water. Carry a bottle of water or even a hydration pack such as the CamelBak. Take a drink every 15 minutes, even when you're not thirsty. When you're done with your workout, have a few more glasses of water.
6. Eat Hydrating Foods If You Exercise in the Heat:
Fueling your body with foods that won’t dehydrate you is crucial when doing any type of activity on a hot day. Bergeron recommends avoiding foods that are high in fat and protein before exercising since they require time and energy to digest.
As you exercise and your body heats up, blood flow to the GI tract decreases, which makes digestion more difficult and may cause nausea.
7. Keep your head cool:
The most important body part to keep cool is the head, as otherwise, you tend to get extremely tired.
"A good tip is to use a cap that you soak in water every so often, to keep the head as cool as possible".
8. Add extra salt to food and drinks:
Normally we are told to use less salt in our food, but during hot days, and especially when exercising regularly, it is actually smart to salt your food a little extra. You can even add normal salt to your water bottle, for an extra boost.
“Salt is really important as Sodium (found in salt) binds to water in the body and helps maintain the balance of fluids. If the salt levels are too low your body can’t bind to anything, which makes you tired and swollen – something that happens to women more often than men. So if you sweat a lot, don’t forget to keep your salt levels healthy”.