Warm weather can be the perfect time to squeeze in a workout outdoors and there are loads of sports or activities you can do to get active during the summer season. Whether you're looking to take your indoor workout outdoors or you're eager to soak up the sun while working up a sweat, there are plenty of reasons to change your workout environment and go outdoors for a bit.
Before beginning any type of exercise routine, consult with a qualified healthcare professional or licensed physical therapist who can evaluate and provide guidance on the proper techniques to perform certain exercises and stretches.
Take a look at some of these summer workout tips so you can optimize your workout and stay healthy during the warmer months of the year.
One of the first things you should do before planning and setting off on your next summer workout adventure is to check the weather. Taking a few moments to check the weather before you head outdoors can help you adequately prepare for the proper clothes to wear, plan your workouts accordingly, and help you spot any trouble before it starts — like rainy weather or scorching heat.
In addition, checking the weather can help alert you to any other weather concerns like a high pollen count, air pollution concerns, strong winds, or humidity levels. Make sure that the weather for the day is conducive to the types of activity you'll be participating in so you can make the most of your summer workout without having to stop early due to mother nature.
Working out in the summer sun can help you work up a sweat, but you also need to take steps to protect your skin. This includes wearing sunscreen that provides enough protection during peak outdoor hours. Try to use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 if not higher. Getting burned and damaging your skin can sideline you for days, so you should always wear sunscreen protection. Don't forget to wear sunscreen on cloudy days as well!
Another effective summer workout tip is to consider working out in the shade. Working up a sweat during the summer season doesn't mean that you have to always soak in the direct sun. You can get a good workout in under cover as well. Shaded sections can not only help you avoid direct sunlight for extended periods of time, but they can provide a much-needed relief area when you're ready to take a break during your workout sets.
Hydration and proper nutrition play a pivotal role in your body's ability to perform at a high level and recover after a strenuous workout. Make sure that you're consuming adequate amounts of liquid before, during, and after exercise. Working out during the summer months means that you need to take special precautions to avoid dehydration, Heatstroke and Heat Exhaustion.
On the flip side, one can overhydrate as well. While dehydration is more common, people can drink too many liquids which can upset the electrolyte balance of the body.
After your workout, consume a healthy meal or snack to replenish those lost nutrients you used while working out.
Don't be afraid to take it slow. While you're exercising in the summer, you need to give your body adequate time to adjust to the increased temperatures and stress you're placing on it. Implement an effective warm-up period and cool-down period in your workout routine to help your body ease into the workout and ramp up and ramp down once it's complete. If you're working out multiple days in a row, consider taking it easy on alternating workouts. You don't need to go full speed every day to get an effective workout in. Alternating harder and lighter workouts has been shown to be more effective in making those summer gains you're looking for.
Always listen to your body when you're working out or increasing your activity levels. Your body does an excellent job of sending signals on its capacity to perform certain exercises, so if you wake up a bit tired from the previous day's workout, consider a light workout instead of your usual rigorous workout.
If at any point you feel dizzy, lightheaded, faint, nauseous, or have a rapid heartbeat that doesn't subside, stop what you're doing and seek the help of a qualified healthcare professional.
In addition to wearing sunscreen as we outlined above, make sure you're taking steps to wear appropriate and breathable clothing which can help protect your skin from the sun and help you avoid overheating. Select protective and supportive clothing that will help you stay cool and will allow you to get a solid workout in without causing unnecessary distractions or restrictions. In addition, make sure the clothes you choose support your workout, including the shoes you wear.
Working out with a friend or family member can be a great way to build a support network and get extra motivation from your peers on those days where it feels like a challenge to workout. In addition, working out with a friend or family member can have someone check your form when exercising or provide an extra level of oversight to watch out for a potential injury or sign of fatigue in the warm summer.
We’re passionate about helping others alleviate pain and recover from injuries with manual therapy techniques. Our licensed physical therapists will work with you to develop and implement a tailored treatment program that is designed to match your unique needs and recovery goals. Schedule an appointment today at a physical therapy clinic near you to see how physical therapy can help you alleviate pain and recover from an injury.