Summer’s here again, and many of us will be dreaming of our holidays, of lazing by the pool and swimming in the sea. But while getting that perfect supermodel beach body may remain a pipedream for most, there’s nothing stopping you from losing a few extra pounds and getting healthier at the same time.
However, before you even start getting in shape, you need to make sure you have the right gear. Exercising outdoors in this weather needs careful preparation – you don’t want to get sunburnt, suffer heat exhaustion, get soaked to the skin in a summer shower or get stung by summer pests. With that in mind here’s some top tips for how you can get fit this summer safely.
Tip 1 – Drink lots of water
Our bodies are 80% water – so the most important thing to remember when exercising in the summer is to stay hydrated by drinking lots it. You should be drinking a couple of glasses of water before any summer activity, and a glass or so every hour during. If you plan on exercising for longer than this, you need to be drinking an isotonic sports drink as it contains electrolytes. These help with the amount of water and salt you’ll lose through sweating.
Tip 2 – Slap on the sunscreen
You don’t need to be told about the risks of sunburn, do you? Before heading out into the heat, make sure any exposed flesh is covered up with a strong factor sunblock. Chronic and frequent exposure to the sun increases your risk – not only of skin cancer – but sunstroke and exhaustion. Plus the sun can damage your eyes too – so get some sunglasses. And if you don’t want your hair to be damaged, get yourself a cap.
Tip 3 – Get cool clothing
Depending on your activity, you need to make sure you have the right clothing. If it’s hot outside, you want to be wearing sports clothes which are not only comfortable, but loose – and more importantly light in colour. White is a good colour as it reflects heat from the sun, while black absorbs it. Make sure your clothing is made of a waterproof material too – lycra running tops, PVC tracksuit bottoms or merino wool sports sorts are all good examples.
Tip 4 – Insect repellant for the win
Hotter temperatures bring out the bugs. Mosquitos and wasps come out to play – so use an insect repellant and wear the right clothes for your activity. If you are hiking in the woods, for example, get yourself some hiking boots and cover up with some long pants and long sleeves too. You also need to protect your feet because they will sweat, so some solid waterproof socks wouldn’t go amiss either
Tip 5 – Rain resistance
Finally, just because it might be summer, that doesn’t mean you’ll be exercising in wall-to-wall sunshine. Summer showers can hit unexpectedly, and if you don’t fancy having your workout ruined by getting drenched, it’s always worth having some waterproofs in your closet, just in case. A waterproof hat should be top of your list – not only will it keep the sun out of your eyes and off your head, those with wide brims will stop any rain from seeping into your eyes or dripping down your neck. A waterproof jacket is also a good idea – they’re lightweight, help keep your body cool and more importantly stop the rain from soaking your body!
So there you have it, five simple tips for exercising in the great outdoors this summer. Remember to start out slowly and increase your exercise gradually. If it’s very hot or humid, you may hit your target heart rate at a lower level of exercise than normal, so listen to your body and adjust your level of exercise accordingly. Don’t exercise outside during the hottest hours of the day or when the humidity is very high. High humidity keeps you from sweating effectively, and can lead to heat stroke.
Have a happy holiday!
Dating Symbol’s guest author today is provider of waterproof clothing SealSkinz. If you’re looking for hiking socks or waterproof hats, please see the website for more information or follow us on Twitter @sealskinz.