Summer in Chicago is finally here! Do you have any big plans?
As you’re going about your outdoor activities this summer, don’t forget to be mindful of your body to keep it performing at it’s best. Here are a few “common sense” tips that are worth repeating, as it’s easy to get caught up in the fun and forget to take care of ourselves.
Tip 1: Drink, Drink, Drink!
In the summer, our bodies require more fluids to keep us moving strong. When your body is dehydrated, some sensations you might feel include fatigue, thirst, nausea, or headachy. Keep yourself healthy by remembering to drink at least 8 oz of water, 5 times per day. Want a more efficient way to stay hydrated? Drink electrolytes! Substitute a glass of water with an unsweetened electrolyte drink such as coconut water.
Tip 2: Don’t forget to protect your skin
Be mindful of how long you’re going to be in the sun. If you’re going to be in the sun for extended periods of time, greater than 20-30 minutes, wear sunscreen and a hat to protect your skin. A little sun is good (think vitamin D) but too much and you could be in pain later from sunburn.
Tip 3: Move your workouts to early morning or evening
Plan for early morning outside workouts or in the evening when it’s a little cooler to avoid heat stroke.
Tip 4: Lightweight clothing
Choose clothing for 2 purposes – to prevent overheating and protect your skin. Opt for clothing made from natural fibers such as cotton or linen that can breathe and keep you cool, even consider long sleeves. When active, think brisk walking or running, choose clothing made from high tech fabrics that breath, are lightweight and wick away your sweat.
Tip 5: Appropriate footwear
When heading out the door for a long walk, greater than 20 minutes, ditch the flip flops and opt for your supportive gym shoes. If it’s been a while, since you have been fitted for the appropriate walking/active shoe, head to a good running or walking store to get the right kind of supportive shoe for you. And don’t forget about wearing a good pair of wick away socks to keep your feet dry and prevent blisters, look for the wick away label on the socks package.
Tip 6: Protect your eyes
Be sure to wear sunglasses, as well as a hat, to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays and protect your vision.
Tip 7: Check medication
If your on any new or your regular medication, check for possible side effects from medication interaction with the sun.
Tip 8: Keep Seniors safe from the heat
If you’re a senior and you regularly exercise indoors (or you know a senior who does), try a change of pace this summer. Here’s a great post on how to be mindful of exercising in the summer heat.
Tip 9: Tips for Athletes
If you’re an athlete who is taking your exercise outdoors for the summer, you can enjoy all the perks of exercising outdoors by following these 50 summer safety fitness tips.