10 Hot Weather Life Hacks To Keep YOU Cool
12 Tips for Walking in Warm Weather
When the weather is hot and humid that last thing you feel like doing is walking. But there are ways to keep up your routine comfortably and safely. Take to an indoor track, a local gym, or a treadmill. Exercise in a pool if you have access to one: walking in water provides plenty of resistance, making this an excellent low impact cardio workout.
If you still want to head outside, combat the heat with these top tips for surviving workouts in scorching temperatures.
1. Start Slowly:Make the transition from treadmill to trail by gradually increasing your time spent exercising outside. Substitute 1 outdoor walking day for an indoor day each week. The first week, walk 1 day outside and 4 days on the treadmill. The second week, walk 2 days outside and do a treadmill workout the other 3 days.
2. Be an Early Bird or a Night Owl:Plan for your fitness walk in the early morning or early evening to avoid the steamiest part of the day--usually between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
3. Protect Your Skin:Not only do sunburns damage your skin, they also affect your body's ability to cool itself and increase your risk of dehydration. Since sweat can evaporate more easily from bare arms and legs, apply a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher about 30 minutes before heading outside. Make sure to put it underneath your clothes, too. Cover your head with a breathable hat (not a visor--it will only protect your face, not your head) with a wider brim to shade some of your neck.
4. Choose Appropriate Workout Clothes:Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing or moisture-wicking materials, such as polypropylene, CoolMaxÂ®, and SupplexÂ®, that evaporate sweat quickly and cool your skin. Or invest in new sun protective pieces: more and more companies are creating clothes with an ultraviolet protection factor, or UPF, rating to block harmful UV-rays.
5. Get Fitness Framed:Block UVA and UVB rays with a pair of sporty sunglasses. Pick plastic lenses and frames that are lightweight and durable. Gray lenses block the brightest lights while red sharpens depth perception, ideal for hiking on shady trails. Make sure your shades are comfortable: fitted temples conform to the shape of your head without squeezing and adjustable nose pads prevent slippage even if you get sweaty.
6. Ice Your Thirst:Freeze a half-full water bottle and fill it before you head outside. Take sips regularly while you're walking (six to eight ounces of water every 15 minutes should be enough). As an extra precaution against dehydration, weigh yourself before your walk and again afterward. If you've dropped a pound or two, drink up. You've lost fluid that is important to your body's cooling system.
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7. Sip Sports Drinks:If you just can't get yourself to drink more water, try a sports drink. Sports drinks contain glucose, the sugar your body needs for energy, as well as electrolytes such as sodium and potassium, which are lost when you perspire. They're absorbed quickly into the bloodstream, so you can walk farther and avoid post-exercise fatigue. The downside? They pack plenty of calories: about 125 calories in 12 ounces. So if you're aiming to lose weight, you're better off hydrating your body with plain or flavored water.
8. Switch Your Shoes:For warm-weather workouts, you need lightweight, ventilated walking shoes and socks that wick away sweat. Mesh is cooler than leather and dries faster when your feet sweat. Or try a walking sandal. You might also get an extra pair of shoes and alternate between them every day so that each pair has a chance to dry out completely. This helps you avoid fungi and smelly feet.
9. Reduce Friction:Be aware of areas where skin rubs against skin--between your toes, thighs, and under your arms. Feel comfortable under your fitness clothes with the right pair of performance underwear. Choose sweat-wicking fabrics over cotton, which gets wet easily and stays wet, contributing to chafing in sensitive spots. Avoid blisters, caused by toe-to-toe friction, by wearing snug-fitting shoes that stop your toes from shifting while you walk. Create a barrier to moisture: use a small amount of petroleum jelly or Runner's Lube, a nonstaining cream made from lanolin, zinc oxide, and benzocaine that can be found in many sporting goods stores.
10. Seek Out Shade:Direct sun can make the temperature feel up to 15 degrees hotter! Stick to shady, tree-lined streets or near breezy oceans and riverfronts with breezes. Check the National Park Service to see if there are parks with trails through the trees in your area:
11. Check Your Heart Rate:Cardio exercise combined with scorching temps can put some serious stress on your body; heating body temperatures and jacking up your heart rate. This is especially true in high humidity, since sweat takes longer to evaporate from your skin so it's harder for heat to dissipate. Wearing a heart rate monitor can help you determine how hard to push yourself and when to hold back.
12. Listen to Your Body:Your body will tell you when you can push yourself, and when it's time to coast. If you develop a headache or become dizzy or weak, stop exercising and head for a cool place. Severely elevated body temperatures for a prolonged period can lead to a loss of consciousness, vomiting, or heat stroke. If you feel faint, drink plenty of cool fluids, and rest immediately.
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