Summer brings sun, fun, and heat while we get out to relax and experience summer-time activities. It’s always important to be prepared for the elements, and that’s especially true if we’re exercising in the heat of summer. If you head out for that 10 mile run, you don’t want to get stuck five miles in – overheating and experiencing dehydration.
Preparation is key.
Preparing for outdoor exercise
1. Know the 20 degree rule
One of the first pieces of advice I received when I started running was the 20 degree rule: always dress for an outdoor exercise session as if it’s 20 degrees warmer outside than the actual temperature. If you plan to start early in the morning and it’s 40 degrees, dress as if it were 60 degree weather. You may think you’re going to freeze when you first head out the door, but your body temperature will rise quickly when running. If you’re concerned about being too cold, wear layers you can remove easily and carry along your route.
2. Properly hydrate your body
Dehydration can cause so many issues during a workout or run. As we sweat we need to replenish what’s lost to make sure our cells and muscles continue to function properly. It’s important to hydrate before and during exercise. Sip water, sport drinks, or electrolyte supplemented water every 10 minutes to replace the water that you lose during exercise. You can carry a water bottle, use the drinking fountain at the gym, or use a waist pack with bottles. Dehydration is a large reason many people do not perform well or feel well during exercise.
We all know the damaging effects of that brightly colored orb in the sky on our skin. And who wants to have a great run or exercises session just to wake up the next day in pain from sunburn? If you’re like me, sunburn can happen very quickly, and sometimes even if you use sunscreen. I don’t like sunscreen on my face because I sweat so much, so I opt for a hat. This also helps to keep my scalp from getting burnt. Make sure to take care of your exposed skin when out enjoying the weather.
So get out there and enjoy the weather, the sun, and soak up some Vitamin D! But make sure you’re prepared for every occasion whether a long run, a 30 mile bike ride or a fun round of disc golf!