Warmer weather, bright sunshine, and skimpier clothes are all reasons Americans have for getting out to exercise while enjoying the great outdoors. After all, most people have waited through the long, cold winter months to don some walking shoes and a tank top and hit the trails.
But even though the weather is warm, exercise enthusiasts still need to be cautious of a few things when working out.
1. Bad air quality.
The daily weather report usually tells viewers the day's predicted temperature and humidity, and also typically lets them know when the air quality is bad. But this factor is not just for people who suffer from lung issues. In fact, many people would probably be considered "sensitive" to bad air quality and not even know it.
Those who exercise outdoors breathe deeper and faster, and therefore pull more of the potentially polluted air straight into their lungs, making them at risk for adverse side effects like labored and difficult breathing. If there is a Code Yellow, Orange, Red or Purple, think twice about exercising outdoors, or at least lighten up on the workout.
2. Excessive heat
The summer brings heat of course, but there are times when too much heat can be harmful to those who are exercising, and can even cause death. Some of the biggest problems are staying hydrated and maintaining the body's salt and electrolytes.
The delicate balance of water, salt and electrolytes is imperative to keep the body functioning properly. When those things are out of balance the exerciser can feel dizzy, nauseous or faint. Avoiding the hottest part of the day will help, as will staying properly hydrated.
3. Sun exposure
The sun can be helpful, of course, but too much can be extremely harmful. Wearing a sunscreen is a must. Experts recommend a sunscreen with a SPF 45 to be sure the skin is protected.
Avoiding the hottest parts of the day, generally 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. when the sun is the strongest can also help ward off the harmful effects of the sun.