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The summer heat is finally here, and for many of us that means it’s time to get fit outside. There’s nothing like a nice trail run or a calming outdoor yoga session to get you excited about fitness again. But there are also some things you should be doing to stay safe in the heat.
Did you know that 75% of Americans are already chronically dehydrated? And that’s without exercising in the hot sun. If you’re planning on getting fit in the great outdoors this summer, now is the time to educate yourself on taking care of your body and staying hydrated.
Here are 10 quick tips that will keep your water levels where you need them:
1. Know how hot is too hot
Pay attention to the weather forecast. If you already know your area is experiencing record-high temperatures, then be smart and don’t work out in the heat. Also keep in mind that humidity makes a big difference: even 70 degrees with high humidity could be much hotter than you think, and anything over 90 degrees means you should probably go to the gym instead of exercising outside.
2. Get acclimated
If you’ve never worked out in the great outdoors, it’s going to take your body a little time to get used to hotter conditions. Take it easy at first and give your body a good solid two weeks to adjust. Then slowly increase the length and intensity of your workouts.
3. Avoid the hottest hours of the day
Try as much as possible to exercise only in the morning or the evening this summer. Noon to 5pm is the hottest time to be outside, and avoiding that window will greatly decrease your likelihood of getting dehydrated.
4. Dress appropriately
Loose, light-colored clothing is your best bet for clothing since it will help your sweat evaporate.
5. Drink before you go
Drinking water regularly, even when you’re not exercising, is the absolute best way to avoid dehydration, so try to sip water throughout the day this summer. An hour or two before your workout, try to drink two cups of water to get your hydration levels in a good place.
6. Carry water with you
Be sure to continue drinking during your workout. Usually a cup or two of water every twenty minutes should do you.
7. Don’t push yourself too hard
Even if you’re in great shape and you’re used to working out in the heat, it can be easy to overestimate your tolerance. On hot days try to exercise moderately, give yourself breaks, and always take time to drink. Save your truly strenuous workouts for an air-conditioned environment so you don’t risk exhausting yourself miles from home on a really hot day.
8. Stay out of the sun whenever possible
Run on shaded trails since the sun will only make you hotter. If you can’t avoid the sun, be sure to wear waterproof sunscreen so you don’t get toasted.
9. Replenish your water when you get back
Once you return from your workout, take the time to cool down and drink another two cups of water. Remember that cool or room temperature water will be easier for your body to ingest than ice water.
10. Know the warning signs
If at any point in your workout you start experiencing lightheadedness, nausea, dizziness, or headaches, do not continue working out. Get in doors, drink water, and cool yourself off with wet washcloths or an ice bath. If you’re still not feeling better after half an hour, consult a healthcare professional.
By following these simple tips, you’ll be significantly less likely to become dehydrated during your outdoor workouts. And if you’re interested in doing more to boost your health and performance, consider adding AXIO by LifeVantage to your summer fitness routine. This drink is designed to improve both your energy and your endurance to help you maximize your workouts.