Healthy Living: Safety for an outdoor summer workout is no sweat
If spending time in an air-conditioned gym is not your idea of summer fun, stretch those muscles in the great outdoors and keep in mind tips from the American Council on Exercise on how to stay fit and safe in the sun. YNN's Shazia Khan filed the following report.
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Whether it's a game of sand volleyball or a ride in the park, the great outdoors can be a breath of fresh air for your exercise routine.
"It adds a little more variety to our work outs and it can even give you a little bit more of your own interval workout without having to punch buttons on a machine," says Chris McGrath, a senior consultant for the American Council on Exercise.
But summer's heat can take its toll, and could turn a workout into a burnout. So McGrath offers some tips on how to stay fit and safe when exercising outdoors this season.
First, avoid exercising during the sun's peak hours and be mindful of the temperature.
"The body happens to be extremely resilient and adaptable. But if you've been used to running hard or working out hard outside and the temperatures have increased, and usually we look at something like 90 degrees and higher or if there's really high humidity, then back off a little bit on your workouts on the intensity and maybe even the duration," says McGrath.
Since you're likely to sweat more, you'll need to hydrate more.
"The American Council of Exercise encourages water unless you're working out for more than 60 minutes, then some of the sports drinks may be helpful," says McGrath. "But water will help obviously keep yourself hydrated and it can also help you regulate your body temperature."
Also, be sure to warm up.
"It sounds a little counterintuitive because you already feel warm," says McGrath. "In the wintertime, a lot of times we feel very stiff, our muscles feel stiff and our joint feels stiff, so it usually makes more sense to warm up. But in the hotter conditions, while the joints and the muscles may feel loose, you still want to take a little bit more time because physiologically, you could very easily overheat if you jump in too quickly, just because you feel loose. So you still want to take some time to ease into your workouts."
As far as clothing, make sure it's breathable, and of course don't forget the sunscreen.