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How to Stay Safe While Exercising This Summer

In order to lose weight and stay in shape you can’t simply rely on healthy eating. Healthy eating will only get you so far; doing daily exercise is also essential.

A Nielsen Global Consumer Exercise Trends Survey found that 45% of millennials exercise on a regular basis. With the weather getting warmer it might seem like the perfect time to get outdoors for your daily workout. But since the weather is getting warmer, you need to take extra precautions.

If you plan to get out on a really hot day, remind yourself that it’s okay to take it easy. While you may want to do the hardest workout you’ve ever done, you don’t want to get sick. If you’re used to walking or running, slow your pace down a bit. As you begin to get used to the workout, you can then pick up the pace and length of how much you’re going to do. You should always get out before the sun comes up or right after it goes down. Those will be the coolest times of the day, so it’s going to be the most comfortable for you. If you really want a high-intensity workout consider going to a gym when the temps are scorching.

When you’re outdoors make sure you’re only wearing lightweight, light-colored clothing. Dark colors will absorb the sun and heat, making you feel too hot. If you wear lightweight clothing your body will attract more air and you’ll stay cool. Make sure you put some sunscreen on once the loose-fitted clothing is on. Find a sunscreen that is UVA/UVB with zinc oxide or titanium. Even if the bottle says it’ll last you all day, it’s a good idea to apply it every two hours or so.

If you notice heat cramps, heat exhaustion, or go into heat stroke, you need to stop working out immediately. Of the three major heat-related syndromes, heat cramps are the mildest and heat stroke is the most extreme. Always be aware of these potential conditions when exercising outdoors in the heat.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, there are a few signs of the three heat-related conditions that you should be on the lookout for. If you start to experience spasms in your muscles while working out, you’re dealing with heat cramps. If you suddenly become dizzy, tired, and start throwing up, you’re experiencing heat exhaustion. You’re about to go into heat stroke if you have a temperature of 104 degrees or higher and a feeling of confusion or disorientation. You’ll also notice a rapid pulse and flushed skin.

Workouts come in many different forms. You can take a yoga class, try a kickboxing class, or simply jump around. In fact, NASA says 10 minutes of jumping is actually a better cardiovascular workout than 30 minutes of running. Whatever you choose to do, you have to find a place to do it. And as the weather gets warmer, exercising outdoors might seem like the best option. If you are going to workout outside, though, you need to take precautions. Use a gym as an alternative if it’s too hot outside, drink plenty of water, and wear loose-fitted clothing. These things will help you have a successful workout while enjoying the great outdoors.

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