Warmer weather means it’s time to get outside—for backyard barbecues, gardening, little league games, and, of course, exercise! Taking your cardio routine outdoors is a great change of pace from working out in a stuffy gym or your boring living room. But whether you’re biking, running or swimming, you have to be careful, especially in extreme heat and humidity.
It’s important to make sure you are well hydrated when exercising outdoors. Remember, the body loses not only water, but also electrolytes and salt, when you sweat. Watch for signs of dehydration, which may include nausea and lightheadedness. And make sure you slow down and take a break if the heat starts to get to you.
Here are a few more tips to keep you hydrated and safe when working out in the great outdoors:
• Try to get outside early in the morning or late in the afternoon, when the heat isn’t as strong.
• Drink one to two glasses of water before you leave, and bring a water bottle with you. Take a sip about every 10 to 15 minutes, even if you’re not thirsty.
• Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing.
• Drink a few glasses of water at the end of your workout, or better yet—have a sports drink that contains electrolytes and salt. Trace Minerals Research Electrolyte Stamina Pak mixes easily into water and can also be brought along with you.
Southern States Championships top contender Melissa Transou, a figure competitor, wife and mother, blogs about the unique sports nutrition needs of female athletes exclusively for Vitacost.com.