It's time to take your winter treadmill routine outdoors to the parks. The days are long and warm. The trails radiate heat. Summer is here and you're prepared to sweat! But before you lace up your running shoes, read these eight tips to help keep you cool.
Photo courtesy of Polka Dot Images
Heat-related illness is serious. But that doesn't mean you're doomed to a summer spent exercising in the air-conditioned gym. Try these safety tips before you step foot out in the sun:
1. Exercise in the early morning or late evening hours. The temperature is the coolest at this time. Avoid exercising midday because it's the hottest part of the day.
2. Drink up! Do not wait until you are thirsty to start hydrating. Make sure to drink adequate amounts of fluids. If you are exercising for an extended period of time, you may need to replace the salt and minerals lost through sweat. If you are on diuretics (water pills) or a low-salt or fluid-restricted diet, talk to your doctor first about your specific fluid needs.
3. Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing. Consider dressing in clothes made with moisture-wicking fabric.
4. Protect yourself from the sun. Wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher. Try to exercise in the shade. Play tennis on a court shaded by the trees or take a walk in a wooded park.
5. Rest early and often. Take breaks in shady areas.
6. Gradually get used to the heat. It takes 7 to 10 days for your body to adapt to the change in temperature. Start by exercising for short time, at a low intensity. Save long, hard workouts until after you're acclimated to the summer air.
7. Mind the weather. Do not exercise on the hottest days. Keep an eye on the heat index. The heat index is a calculation of the temperature and humidity. It measures "how hot it really feels" outside. Be cautious when the heat index gets above 80 degrees. Consider working out indoors. Walk around a shopping mall or do a workout DVD in your air-conditioned home.
8. Stop if you don't feel well. If you have any of the warning signs of heat-related illness, stop your workout right away.
How the heat hurts you:(continue)
Now that summer is officially here many are leaving their gym passes at home and hitting the great outdoors for exercise. This may be bad news for the gym but great news for you, your health and the environment. In a study conducted by the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, outdoor exercise can leave you feeling revitalized with an improved mental well-being.
The study also discovered a decrease in tension, confusion, anger and depression. While indoor workouts can do the same, they do not offer the environmental benefits that exercise in the natural environment provides. While gyms successfully burn calories, they also guzzle an enormous amount of energy over time. These methods are resulting in the use of vital non-renewable resources, like coal.
Jalelah Ahmed has more.
If an extreme solar storm aimed at the Earth hits in just the right way, it could put interconnected electrical grids around the world at serious risk, experts say.Read Story >