Create an Exercise Routine that Keeps You Safe

We all know the feeling when we step outside in Florida and hit that wall of humidity… *insert sweating emoji here. For those of us that like to get outdoors, stretch our legs, and burn some calories, the Florida heat can be a serious challenge. But fear not, we’ve got some rules of the road to help you create an exercise routine that will keep you safe, motivated, and cool as a cucumber, no matter what temperature it is outside.

1. Pick the Right Time of Day

The time of day is important. Unless you are conditioning for an event that takes place in the daytime heat, avoid exercising from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., which is the hottest part of day. Exercising outside in the early morning will allow you to avoid the heat and harmful rays of the sun, and crush your workout before you start the day! If you’re getting a move on at night, wear bright clothing, move with/against traffic (depending on the exercise), and wear reflectors or lights on your hat, torso, or ankles. For more night workout safety tips, check out this article.

2. Stay Hydrated

Before you go out, drink a glass or two of water. Be sure to bring a water bottle with you, or even a hydration pack. Take a drink every 15 minutes, even when you’re not thirsty. If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated! When you’re done with your workout, cool down with a few more glasses of water. For more hydration tips, for all ages, take a look at our article here.  Don’t like water? Electrolyte rich drinks can hydrate you and help you refuel, not to mention these  7 Foods That Keep You Hydrated.

3. Stay Charged

On top of hydration, the right foods provide the right fuel to keep you going during the summer heat. Discover which foods can also help replenish electrolytes, and don’t forget that eating the right foods during your after-workout recovery is also important! For examples of post-workout meals that will give you the nutrients you need to recover, click here!

4. Dress for the Occasion

Wear breathable, light-colored clothing. A lighter color will help reflect heat, increase your visibility to motorists, and moisture-wicking material will help with sweat. Don’t forget to protect your melon, too! Wearing a hat can protect your head, face, and neck from the sun. Oh – and of course wear a bike helmet with a sun visor if you’re putting the pedal to the metal. The American Heart Association has more tips for workout wear, in hot or cold weather – click here!

5. Sunscreen is Your Ally

Sunscreen is a must. It’s important to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. You can get sunburnt even on cloudy days. Check out our blog post about sunscreen to learn more about the proper usage.

6. Check the Weather Forecast

Check the weather forecast before you head outside. Florida weather can be super unpredictable! If there’s a heat advisory, low air quality, and air pollution, you might want to take your workout indoors. Thunderstorms are prevalent in Florida and seem to pop up out of nowhere sometimes! If there is lightening in your area, stay inside. Click here to check the air quality and weather forecast for the Orlando area.

7. Stay in the Shade

If you can, choose shaded trails or pathways to stay out of the sun. This is the one time it’s good to throw some shade – haha! The local West Orange Trail is a great spot to walk, run, and ride bikes under shady trees. Learn more about the West Orange Trail here.

8. Listen to Your Body

If you’re feeling dizzy, nauseous, or faint, stop immediately. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are real dangers and can happen to anyone. We’ve laid out the differences between the two, and what precautions you should take if you or someone around you are experiencing it. If you’re concerned about a workout being harmful, check with your doctor first.

9. Sweat and Get Your Splash On

Why not get active and cool off, at the same time? There are plenty of ways you can workout in the water this summer; paddle boarding, swimming, even running through the sprinklers! Looking for more water activities? We got you! Of course, safety first! Brush up on your water safety knowledge before you get your splash on.

10. Workout with a Buddy

Getting active is always more fun, and safer, with friends! You know, the good ol’ buddy system. Join a community running or biking group, like Winter Garden Runners or Women of Westside to workout outdoors in a group setting. If your workout buddy has four paws, it’s important to make sure they’re staying cool, too! Follow these summer safety tips from the ASPCA to keep your furry friend from overheating.

We Want to Hear from You!

So, what’s your favorite way to exercise in the dog days of summer? Share your tips with the West Orange community below! Stay cool, friends!

 

 

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