Sun and Shape: The 411 on Exercising Outside

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Sun and Shape: The 411 on Exercising Outside

Get your summer sweat on!

oodbye Polar Vortex, hello summer! And while summer means beaches and BBQs, it can also mean taking your workouts outdoors. But how can you balance exercise and the heat at the same time? Read these tips.

Avoid the heat. Safety should always come first when exercising outside, which means avoiding heat stroke. So try picking times where the sun hasn’t peaked and it’s not too hot. Opt for early morning workouts or after work runs at night when it’s still light out.

Stay hydrated. Because the heat can dehydrate you quicker, make sure to drink often when working outside and during the day. Also, water isn’t the only thing you can drink—try coconut water and low-calorie or low-sugar performance drinks, too.

Wear light, loose-fitting clothing. The key to staying cool when working out is partly about what you are wearing. Make sure to wear light-colored and loose-fitting clothes. Also, opt for workout gear made from a polyester/cotton blend; it will help you cool off easier.

Listen to your body. Know when it’s time to slow down and catch your breath, especially if you are getting dizzy, lightheaded or nauseated. Don’t ignore what your body is trying to tell you.

Pile on that sunscreen. Yes, black people can get sunburned and skin cancer, so make sure that when you are outside exercising, you are protecting your skin from the sun’s rays. Also, grab some sunglasses to protect your eyes and the skin around your eyes.

Build up your resistance to the heat and humidity. You have to get your body accustomed to working outside in the heat and the humidity. Start slow, by working out 15 minutes the first week and then building your way up to more. Before you know it, you will be ready to go full force.

Always check the weather first. Before you go out, make sure to check the weather for the heat indexes, possible rain and air quality. With that info you can make an informed decision about when and if going out is a good idea.

Know when to stay inside. While we want you to work out as much as possible, it’s OK to skip a workout outdoors if it’s too hot or if the weather is too severe. If you have a gym membership, use this day to work out there or just work out at home!

Mix up your workout a bit. Sometimes exercising can be monotonous. But it doesn’t have to be. You can do more than just running and walking. Utilize these mobile apps and online resources to inspire yourself to switch it up with intervals, boot-camp style workouts and yoga routines.

For more warm-weather fitness tips, go to BET.

Kellee Terrell