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09 July 2014 Written by  Valecia Weeks

EXERCISE SMART NOT DUMB

Valecia Weeks is a Professional Licensed Massage Therapist through the state of Texas as well as a Professional Corporate Fitness Trainer for BP. She received her fitness certification through NESTA and is currently also a licensed ZUMBA instructor.

Since summer time is within the time change that gives us more daylight time in the evening, we have plenty of time to exercise outside after work, or even before work if you are an early riser. As a matter of fact, that outdoor workout can reduce stress and boost your challenged mood better than indoor ones. There are also some risks to consider when working out in the summer heat. A couple of the risk includes overheating and dehydration. So, while you’re out doors working up a sweat, remember these safety tips to help your physical activity a smart one.

  • Drink Before the Workout: For some, this may seem obvious but for one’s like me, who have to make a conscious effort to hydrate, be sure to have plenty of water before exercising outside. Dehydration can catch you off guard and does a lot more than make you thirsty. You body can easily become fatigue, crankiness, and brain fog and as a worse case scenario…can lead to heat exhaustion and even worse a heat stroke. It is recommended that you consume 14 to 22 ounces of cold water two hours before you get started with outside physical activity and 6 to 12 ounces for every 20 minutes of exercise during your workout.
  • Slow Your Roll: At the beginning of your workouts stick to shorter, easier moves so that your body acclimates to higher temps. Slowing it down will build up your tolerance for spending more time outdoors and keeping you from being totally exhausted after exercising. When you start out slow, this reduces the risk of heat illness, thus, helping you perform better.
  • Slather on the Sun block: Whether your skin in the color of a piece of typing paper or the color of a chalk board, YOU NEED SUNBLOCK. Even darker skin can burn and put you at risk for skin cancer down the road. It is recommended that you use a full ounce, about the amount that can fit in a shot glass. Us this amount to cover your face and all exposed areas of your body. Apply, SPF 15 or higher, at least 20 minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours while you are working up a sweat.
  • Dress Smart: Cotton t-shirts may seem like the most ideal but these things absorb moisture and are not a good choice for summer workouts—not even long walks (yuk, who wants a sweaty shirt?) Choose clothes that are breathable. They are generally made of cotton/polyester blend that helps to pull sweat away from your skin.
  • Know These Warning Signs: Overexertion in the heat can lead to heat cramps -- an early sign of heat exhaustion that can lead to heat stroke. Keep an eye out for these signs: muscle twitching and tenderness in the abdomen, arms or legs; nausea; vomiting; weakness and fatigue. If you start to experience these symptoms while you’re exercising outside this summer, stop what you’re doing and head for the shade or indoors.

Summer time can be a great time to begin your workout regimen, just proceed with caution and have a happy summer workout.