Warm summer months are a big draw to fitness buffs, but it can be a hard time to drag yourself outdoors for your workouts. In the heat, our bodies don’t always perform the way we are used to, and certain precautions need to be taken to stay safe in the hot weather. UNFNSHD wants to help you ladies stay safe during outdoor summer workouts with the following tips.
In the summer, it is important to wear clothing that won’t cause you to overheat. Lightweight and light-colored clothing will help keep you cooler, especially if they have moisture-wicking properties. Sweat is a good thing (and girl, don’t try to pretend like you don’t sweat), but you don’t want it to cling to your skin, which is just what moisture-wicking fabric prevents. In humid conditions, this type of clothing can prevent overheating while running or working out in the summer heat.
If you are running early in the morning or late at night, you may need to alter your clothing choices. A light jacket and long pants may be necessary during cooler hours of the day. UNFNSHD has a variety of clothing that is appropriate for all kinds of weather.
Remember to always wear shoes that are appropriate for the activities that you are participating in. For hiking, wear hiking boots. When running, make sure you are wearing shoes that are comfortable and sturdy to prevent injuries. If you don’t have appropriate shoes, it is time to go shopping!
Water is a crucial part of exercise regardless of the location or the weather; however, in the heat of the summer, dehydration can quickly overtake the body. Be sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after physical activity, even if you aren’t feeling thirsty at the time. Drinking water can also prevent overheating during your workout as well.
Stay Visible to Drivers
If you are going to be running in an area with vehicle traffic, be sure to wear light-colored clothing. Neon or reflective clothing can make you more visible to people behind the wheel of a car, especially at night. Pedestrians get hit by cars most often as the cars turn corners or when traffic lights change, so be extra cautious in these situations.
Use Sunscreen and Bug Repellant
Sunburns are not only painful, but they can also increase your risk of skin cancer. Protect that skin! Using a sunscreen can help keep your skin healthy when applied 30 minutes before exposure to the sun.
Bugs can carry diseases that make humans sick, and they are much more prevalent in the summer than any other time of year. Preventing bug bites while exercising outdoors in the summer can keep you from being sidelined due to illnesses like Lyme disease.
Keep Headphone Volume Low
Many women use headphones when they run or exercise outdoors. Keep the volume at a low enough level that you can hear what is going on around you. Listening to music at a low volume will help you stay more alert to your surroundings and keep you safer. If you still feel unable to hear, take one earbud out. Keep yourselves safe, ladies!
Bring Only the Essentials
When you are going out for a run or hike in the summer months, carry only what you need. Put your identification, keys, and emergency money in a pocket or small pack to keep your hands free. You should also bring a cell phone with you in case you get injured or another emergency arises.
Since you are only bringing essentials, be sure to apply sunscreen and bug repellant before you leave. Leave behind all the extra stuff that will weigh you down or be in the way.
Run in Well-Traveled Areas
Remote areas are much more dangerous for those who run alone. Instead, choose well-trafficked areas and be sure to exude all the confidence you have, which will help deter potential safety threats. Stay alert at all times no matter where you decide to exercise. Be sure that you monitor the surroundings all around you and especially behind you.
If you are running at a time when it is dark, make sure the area is well-lit. Avoid any area that is dimly-lit and away from other people, as these locations are great places for attackers to hide.
Let Someone Know Where You Will Be
Before heading out, be sure to let someone know where you are going and how long you expect to be gone. Let them know that you will check back in with them when you get home, so if you don’t make it home by that time, they can alert the authorities. Even better, when possible, exercise with another person.
Know When to Stop
The heat takes a toll on the human body. If you start to feel muscle spasms or cramps, your body could be giving you a sign to take it easy, girl. Heat cramps can be treated with stretching, light massage, and fluid replenishment, but you should avoid exercise for a few hours after getting heat cramps.
Heat exhaustion leads to breathlessness, dizziness, fainting, vomiting, and fatigue. Your skin may feel cold and clammy or hot and dry. In some cases, heat exhaustion causes low blood pressure and weak but rapid pulse. If you believe you are experiencing heat exhaustion, stop what you are doing, drink cool water, and get into a cool area.
Heatstroke is the most serious heat-related disease that you should be aware of. Symptoms include body temperature greater than 104°F, confusion, disorientation, rapid pulse, rapid breathing, and flushed skin. See a doctor immediately if you have the symptoms of heatstroke.
UNFNSHD urges all athletes to stay safe during summer workouts both indoors and outdoors.