Seven Tips for Staying Safe While Exercising Outdoors
If the thought of working out indoors on a treadmill this summer bores you to tears, there’s no need to worry. This summer, you can get a great workout outdoors while staying safe. Working out outside not only provides a sense of wonder and connection to nature, but it’s also an excellent way to nip stress in the bud. Here are some tips to help you stay safe while working up a sweat outside this summer.
1. Stay hydrated. OK, this one may seem obvious. But like that piece of advice that your mother relentlessly gave you growing up, this one is important. This article even recommends drinking an extra glass of water or sports drink prior to working out outside in the heat. You can even down extra H2O directly after the workout to help combat dehydration. It’s also important to stay consistently hydrated throughout the day. Doing so will help you power through summer workouts.
2. Ditch the dark clothing. Even if you like the look of dressing in dark colors, doing so while working out in the heat isn’t wise. During the summer months, leave your dark-colored workout clothing in your closet, and instead opt for light-colored, lightweight, moisture-wicking clothing. Lighter colors help you to stay cool, while lightweight, moisture-wicking materials help keep moisture off of your skin. This helps to safeguard you from heat exhaustion and heat stroke during the summer months.
3. Shield yourself from the sun. The sun is great for many things, but getting sunburned is not one of them. Make sure to wear sunscreen when working out outdoors, and consider wearing a hat or visor for extra protection.
4. Tell a friend or family member of your whereabouts. In the case that you sprain an ankle or sustain any other type of injury, it’s helpful to let somebody know where you are in the case that you don’t return. This article explains that letting somebody know where you are is also important because if something were to happen, it reduces the time that people need to spend looking for you. “You can also carry an ID with you, so that if you faint or fall, people know who you are,” Lauralee Beerman, Sports Club manager at GGC, said. Protect yourself and let a buddy or family member know where you are.
5. Watch for signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat sickness can strike even the healthiest of people, and it’s important to know what signs to look for. Lauralee recommends watching for these signs of heat exhaustion: sweating, dizziness, headache, weakness, and pale or flushed skin. “In the case that you notice these symptoms while out in the heat, seek shade or a cool area, apply a cool compress, elevate your feet eight to twelve inches, and sit near a fan if possible,” Lauralee said. “The next level of heat sickness is heat stroke. If your body stops sweating and can’t cool itself, call 911 immediately.”
6. Be aware of harmful plants. “An old rule of thumb for avoiding harmful, poisonous plants is ‘if there are leaves of three, let it be,’” Lauralee said. “In other words, stay away from plants with leaves that are clustered together in groups of three,” she continued. “If you think you may have come into contact with something harmful, immediately wash with soap and water and follow that with rubbing alcohol.”
7. Protect yourself from animal and insect bites. “When hiking, running, or participating in many other outdoor activities, it’s wise to be aware of the potential threat of animal or insect bites,” Lauralee advised. “If you are bitten by an insect, primarily bees, wasps, and spiders, and have an allergic reaction, hives, dizziness, stomach cramps, or nausea, see a doctor. Further, check yourself and your clothing for ticks,” she continued. “And, be aware of animals that may have rabies. They often act as if they are ‘drunk,’ act overly friendly, or act threatening and aggressive,” Lauralee warned. “If you do run into an animal and are not sure what to do, walk away slowly, and speak in a calm voice. Contact authorities if you are bitten so that they can evaluate and examine the animal for any harmful conditions.”
This summer, you can enjoy the outdoors while getting a great workout. Taking steps to protect yourself from the elements and other potential outdoor threats is important, and doing so can help you breathe easy while enjoying the outdoors! You can explore a list of local outdoor hiking and running trails by clicking here. To learn more, we encourage you to contact the Sports Club at 719.329.4009, or contact Sports Club Manager Lauralee Beerman at firstname.lastname@example.org.