Staying Cool during Your Outdoor Workout

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by Kaetlin Zink

We can all agree on one thing — it’s HOT. With this heat wave passing through, it’s painful to even think about staying outside for any extended period, but if you’re someone who loves a good outdoor workout, there are still ways to manage in the heat. Following these tips can help make your in-the-elements workout doable.

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Tip 1: Stay hydrated.

One of the easiest ways to cool your body temperature down is by drinking cold water. Pay close attention to your body’s signals and drink up immediately when you feel thirsty.

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Tip 2: Wear breathable clothing.

Steer away from heavy material that will make you hotter. It is wise to wear breathable fabrics, such as polyester, dri-fit, and micro-fibers, because they keep your body cool by wicking away sweat. Opt for lighter-colored clothing as well.

Tip 3: Make use of ice.

Not only can ice be used to keep your water nice and cold, but it can also be applied on your head and body to cool down. Chewing on the ice can also help cool your core.

Ice

Tip 4: Pour water on yourself.

Dumping cold, refreshing water on your head and body can have the power to reverse overheating messages the body sends to the brain. Before a long run or bike ride, it’s also a good idea to take a cold bath or shower to lower your body temperature.

Tip 5: Limit exposure to the sun.

If possible, stay in shaded areas to avoid direct contact with the sun.

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Tweed’s Park has some great shaded areas around the trail.

Tip 6: Time your workout well.

Rather than working out in the middle of the day when the sun is the strongest, try fitting in either an early morning workout routine (sometime before 10:00 am) or a late evening workout (sometime after 7:00 pm).

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Tip 7: Embrace the heat.

Even though you might not want to, it’s perfectly normal and healthy to sweat; this is how the body naturally cools itself. The more you practice working out in the heat, the better acclimated your body will become to the hot temperatures. Try gradual acclimation to get started, such as a 10-20 minute walk or run. Once this becomes easier, you can begin slowly increasing the length of your workout.

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Tip 8: Try an in-water workout.

On a day that’s just too hot to bear, jump in the pool to cool off between your workout, or try an in-water exercise routine. There are tons of weekly workout classes that you can try, like Aqua Zumba, or you can swim a few laps to get in a different kind of cardio. Just don’t forget to continue drinking water, as it can sometimes be easy to forget to stay hydrated when in the pool.

Working out in the pool

Just because temperatures are high doesn’t mean you have to ditch your outside workout. By giving these tips a try and approaching your workout with a bit more caution, you’ll be able to work out just as efficiently. Remember that getting the body acquainted to the heat isn’t going to happen overnight, but the more you do it, the easier it will become. At the same time, be careful not to ignore the body’s signs of exhaustion. If you are starting to feel dizzy or sick, take breaks to cool down in between the workout to avoid overheating.


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