This summer has been temperate, with temperatures in most of the country staying lower than usual. Still, during the summer, it’s best to take some precautions to ensure that your workouts are improving your health, rather than working to your detriment. It’s easy to become dehydrated, or to suffer heat exhaustion or heat stroke. This is especially true if you’ve been sedentary during the winter months, but are enticed by the sunny skies and beautiful weather to become more active. By following a few simple tips, however, you can find a way to enjoy the summer while exercising to promote optimal health.
Above all, hydrate. Staying hydrated is a challenge during the summer months, and dehydration is a real danger. Fortunately, you can stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water; aim for about 64 ounces each day. Drink before and after a workout.
Don’t overdo it. Especially if you’re not typically very active, don’t let the lure of new activities induce you to do too much. Work up to it slowly, paying attention to your body’s cues to make sure you’re not overexerting yourself.
Mix it up, with indoor and outdoor workouts. Running on the beach offers a challenge, because of the resistance of running on sand. Summer offers an opportunity to get together with friends and play outside, and it’s a great time for hiking, biking, and swimming. But when the heat gets to be too much, take your workout indoors, to retain your fitness level while maintaining a healthy body temperature. If you don’t want to join a gym, work out with a DVD at home, or try speed walking around the mall.
Get the proper nutrients. In the summer, there are plenty of opportunities to eat the wrong things, at barbecues and parties, and even on the beach or by the pool. Fortunately, there are also plenty of delicious options, and fresh produce is abundant! If you’re going to up your exercise, it’s important to keep your body well-fueled, and some experts recommend eating several small meals each day, to keep your metabolism burning. Lay off the sugar and alcoholic beverages, instead focusing on eating a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, along with lean protein.
Wear the right clothing. Loose, light-colored clothes can reflect heat to keep the body cool, and wicking garments pull moisture away from the skin, to give a feeling of coolness. It’s also a good idea to wear a hat, which will keep the sun off of your head and face.
No matter what the season, it pays to take care of your body. At our clinic, we take a holistic approach to health care, treating patients as whole people rather than a collection of symptoms. Through physical medicine disciplines and common sense advice, we help set our patients on the road to optimal wellness. For more information, or a free consultation, call today!