Girls, it’s summer, which means we get to move the workouts outdoors. Whether you’re planning a trip to the beach, or moving your routine to the hiking trails, it’s important to stay cool while you’re heating things up. These tips should help keep you in top form.
H2O: Just Add Water
When you’re out in the heat, it’s especially important to keep hydrated.
Before you go outside, drink plenty of water, so you’re starting out well hydrated. When you’re leaving, make sure you bring a water bottle or two with you when you’re outside, or anywhere where the air conditioning isn’t as cold as it should be. And, don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink; instead take breaks from your routine every 15-20 minutes and take a quick sip. This will replace the fluids before you have the chance to get dehydrated.
It might be tempting to drink ice water, but this actually can cause more harm than good, as ice water causes the blood vessels in your stomach to contract, which reduces the rate at which it is absorbed. Instead, drink cool – not cold – water for maximum absorption. For an extra boost, drink a drink with electrolytes to replenish some of the nutrients your body will lose while sweating it out.
It might be tempting to grab a soda or some coffee before your workout, so that you can push on a little longer. But, this is a bad idea; caffeine is a diuretic, and will dehydrate you more quickly.
(Stay Away From) Margaritaville
Alcohol, like caffeine, is a diuretic, and a powerful one at that. As much fun as it is to throw back a few drinks with the girls, skip the drinks the day before going out into the heat, as alcohol works in part by making you dehydrated. As a bonus, you’ll also avoid the hangover. But, feel free to bring the Buffet along for a fun change in your routine.
Take it Easy
Whoever said “no pain, no gain,” gave some really bad advice. Pushing yourself too hard will only put undue strain on your body, which will make your recovery time longer. It also makes you lose more fluids, which increases the risk of dehydration.
Food contains a lot of water, which will help you replenish those lost fluids. Eating also stimulates the thirst response, which will encourage you to drink yet more water. As a bonus, eating will also replenish nutrients, which will allow you to work out longer—without stressing your body out.
Your clothing choices are important during an outdoor workout. Of course, you want to look good, but you also want clothing that will be comfortable and loose fitting, which will allow air to better circulate, keeping you cooler, longer. Lightweight fabrics, such as cotton, are the best choice for mountain hikes. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with a bikini at the beach either.
Accessories are another good way to keep cool. A sexy cowboy hat will keep RI Dolls dancers cool, and looking good at the same time—especially paired with a pair of jeans. For those looking for a different look, there are ties and other similar accessories that double as freezer packs, which will help keep your body temperature a little lower.
Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen
It may seem obvious, but it’s something a lot of us forget. Choose a good sunscreen with a high SPF level and put it on at least 30 minutes before going outside, then every two hours after. Your skin will thank you.
Listen to Your Heart
To make sure you’re not overdoing it, check your heartrate frequently. One of the earliest symptoms of heat exhaustion is an increased heart rate. And, while you’re at it, make sure you listen to the other signs that your body gives you. If you feel tired, take a break. If it hurts, stop doing it.
Go Chasing Waterfalls
Watersports are a fun way to keep yourself cool on a hot day. If you’re going to the beach, take frequent dips in the water, and try swimming against the current—safely, of course! If you’re hiking with friends, make it an adventure and look for an uninhabited lake or stream to swim in. Of course, the swimming pool is always an option as well.
And, most importantly, have fun. Time in the sun, as long as it’s comfortable, can elevate your mood and give you energy. So, pack up that MP3 player – the song titles above might inspire a good playlist – and have some fun in the great outdoors.