By now, spring has quickly sprung into summer weather, with sunshiny days and temperatures steadily climbing through the 80s into the 90s. The warm weather can definitely motivate you to get outside and exercise more, but the sudden high temps mixed with humidity can also kick your butt. Here are some tips to make working out in the heat safe and more bearable.
- Stay hydrated. Drink water before, during and after your workout to avoid dehydration. Bring along a water bottle, water belt or hydration pack and sip about four to eight ounces of water every 15 to 20 minutes. If you’re doing a lengthy run outside, try to drink 16 to 24 ounces of water an hour before your run as well. Experts recommend forgoing soft plastic and Nalgene bottles in favor of BPA-free versions and stainless steel containers, which also look pretty slick. And despite the myth, drinking cold water will not give you cramps, so feel free to drink it at whatever temp you prefer.
- Ease into hot outdoor workouts, and don’t push yourself too hard. Exercise for less time and at a lower intensity, then gradually build up to longer, harder workouts. Listen to your body, and don’t be afraid to take breaks if you need to. If you feel faint or disoriented or if your skin feels cool and clammy, it’s time to take five, preferably in the shade.
- Alter your schedule to run during cooler times of the day. Early mornings or late evenings tend to be the best.
- Run in shady places like the woods, or breezy places like the beach or along a lake.
- Wear light-colored and lightweight clothing that’s made with fabric that wicks moisture away from your skin and dries quickly. (The New Balance NP collection pairs performance fabrics with flattering, streamlined cuts.) Avoid cotton t-shirts and shorts since they’ll get sweaty, stay damp and make you feel hotter.
- Wear wicking socks and lightweight sneaks to keep your feet cool and dry and prevent blisters.
- Wear a lightweight hat. It’ll absorb the sweat from your head and keep the sun off your face, which will protect your skin and keep you cooler.
- Wear sweat-proof sunscreen that won’t drip into your eyes when you perspire. Also be sure to wash your hands after you apply it, so when you go to rub sweat off your face, you won’t rub sunscreen in your eyes.
- For fun, weigh yourself before and after a run. You’ll find that you lose a pound or more (it’s just water weight). Be sure to rehydrate yourself with 16 ounces of water for every pound you “lose.”