How to Safely Exercise Outdoors During a Heat Wave
When the sun is shining and the summer breezes are blowing, you’re probably happy to skip the gym and get outside for your workout. While getting some fresh air is always a great idea, exercising outdoors can also be dangerous on hot days. Here’s how to stay safe when you choose to head outside for a workout.
- Make sure you know the signs of heat exhaustion. You might find that you have to set a slightly slower pace during a warm-weather workout, and that’s totally normal (and a safe thing to do). However, if you’re feeling unusually sluggish or lightheaded, it’s probably time to head inside. These could be early indications of heat exhaustion, which can become a dangerous condition if you push it.
- Drink water before, during, and after your workout. Even if you don’t feel particularly thirsty, drink one or two glasses of water before you head out for a run. Then drink at least every 15 minutes during the workout, and have a few more glasses afterward. It’s important to stay hydrated because thirst only occurs when you’re already starting to get dehydrated—and that’s not something you want to happen on a particularly warm day.
- Wear the right attire. Obviously, you don’t want to wear anything too bulky when the temperatures soar, but keep sun protection in mind, too. Opt for light, breathable clothing that wicks moisture and, preferably, features material that prevents sunburn. You also may want to wear a hat and some moisture-resistant sunscreen for an extra layer of protection.
- Avoid peak sunshine. If you’re used to working out on your lunch break, it might be time to take a different approach. This time of year, the coolest temperatures fall in the early morning and the evening, when the sun isn’t at its brightest. You can avoid overheating by simply switching up the time that you work out.