Warmer weather is finally here and that means many of us can move our work-out routines outdoors. Whether you’re running, walking, biking or even taking your yoga routine to the park, the sunny weather is a signal that you may need to check on your hydration and heat protection plan.
Here are some pointers that will help ensure you’re taking care of your body inside and out while you workout all spring and summer long:
- Sweat is your Friend. It helps keep your body from overheating by evaporating and cooling you down, lowering your body’s surface temperature. This is even more important during warmer weather. If you don’t keep replenishing your water reserves your body can’t cool down and you’ll overheat – not something you want to have happen during your workout, or anytime! For those reasons, be sure that along with your iPod and a workout buddy, you always have plenty of water on hand during your warm weather work-outs. Doctor’s orders!
- Beware the signs of heat exhaustion. If you’re outside and begin to feel weak, fatigued, dizzy or even muscle cramps, or your body temperature rising, you could be suffering from heat exhaustion. Obviously our good friend hydration is key. Be sure to ease into your outdoors, warm weather workout routine and get used to the new temperature and physical challenges. Finally, listen to your body. Don’t push yourself if you aren’t feeling a hundred percent. That extra mile will always be there tomorrow!
- Wear breathable clothing. Not only is this an excuse for some new spring work out wear, but it’s a great way to keep cool, wick away sweat and prevent chafing. Don’t forget the rest of your body as well in terms of protection: load up on sunscreen and remember to protect your eyes (with a hat or sunglasses) as well!
- Don’t rely on trendy drinks to keep you hydrated. Don’t think that soda is a substitute for water. Yes, I’ve seen it all in terms of hydration replacements and we often forget that good old fashioned water will often do the trick. One pointer on water – be sure it’s not too cold, or you could be in for a stomach cramp, that will also put a cramp in your workout!
Happy hydrating and enjoy the sunshine!
Dr. Yael “Dr. V” Varnado is a Cornell-educated physician and a medical and health expert, known for her ability to deliver straight, relatable and relevant information on timely topics that matter most.
She is passionate about women’s health issues and teaching all those she reaches about preventative care, helping to stop heath problems before they start. Dr. V is the creator of the Live Right at Night Campaign focusing on women’s sexual and physical health and safety between the hours of 5 pm and 9 am.
She is also the founder of the Get Checked for Life non-profit that assists members of underserved communities, improving their quality of life by educating and giving them access to the necessary tools and medical resources. You can find Dr. V on Facebook and Twitter via @AskDrV and online at www.AskDoctorV.com