I am not a gym person. I’m a “get out in nature” person. I love my morning runs and walks in the outdoors. But, this can get really challenging during Pennsylvania summers – think hot and sticky humid! Here are some of my strategies for getting outdoors for exercise during the summer.
1 – Exercise as early in the morning as you can. This is really the most important advice I can give you. Mornings are usually cool and tolerable. Plus, then you can go throughout your day knowing you’ve gotten your workout in already. If you can’t do early morning, then evenings are best – after 6 pm.
2 – Dress appropriately. For a morning run I usually wear running shorts, running socks (not cotton), and a technical t-shirt or tank top. Under Armour makes a line of HeatGear shirts especially for hot days that I really like. If its sunny out, wear a hat. They make lightweight hats just for running – I have one from REI I like to use.
3 – Hydrate! Drink lots of water the day before your run/walk, the morning of, and after. If its really hot and its a longer workout I carry my water with me. Nathan makes a line of handheld water bottles that also have a little zip pouch for keys, etc. I have these in 2 sizes for shorter/longer workouts. The one shown in the photo is the smaller size. If in doubt – take water- you will never regret it.
4 – Refuel appropriately. And reconsider drinking that Gatorade. It’s got loads of sugar and other stuff I can’t pronounce in it. Coconut water is a natural way to get your electrolytes. Drink coconut water during or after your work outs. Try it in your post workout smoothies!
5 – Be smart about it. If it’s seriously hot and uncomfortable out there, maybe scale back. Take a walk or walk/run instead of an intense run. Or do something indoors like weight training or yoga. If you do go outdoors, check in with yourself. If you feel weak, dizzy, get a headache or stomach cramp – slow down or stop and hydrate. Take care of yourself!