Careful while exercising in the sun
Going outdoors to exercise is, most times, much more exciting than spending time behind four walls. On the other hand, exercising outside requires extra care, since the combination between physical activities and the heat can be dangerous sometimes.
I’m not saying you should lock yourself up and never go out. On the contrary! I’m saying go out there, but pay attention to a few details while you’re outside. If we take the necessary preventions regarding times, intensity of the exercise, hydration, and solar protection, the time you spend outdoors will certainly bring many benefits to your health and body.
Time of day: pay attention to the period of the day that you’ll be exercising outdoors. In the Summer or when the sun’s too hot, try to avoid the range between 11 am and 3pm. During these hours, the irradiation of solar rays is much higher, with the risk of causing burns and, in the long run, even skin cancer.
Intensity: when is too hot and sunny, pay attention to the signals your body gives, such as dizziness, blurred vision, and exaggerated thirst. This may mean that the activity is too intense and should be controlled. In such cases, drink water, stay in the shadow, and rest so your body cools itself down and recovers from the heat and the intense activity. Ingesting isotonic drinks is also indicated to recover the loss of mineral salts through perspiration.
Protection: even at times with lower solar incidence or in cloudy days, remember to always use sunscreen, avoiding possible skin complications and the excess of solar exposure. Wear hats or baseball caps with long-sleeved T-shirts with UV protection in case of extreme weather. Avoid dark clothes, since they absorb too much heat. Also, remember to pay attention to your hands and ears – wear gloves if you can, or put on some sunscreen on them while you’re out there (ears too!).
Hydration: definitely one of the most important matters when it comes to exercising is drinking enough water – before, during, and after your practice. A dehydrated body runs several health-related risks, and in more serious cases, dehydration can lead to death.
Why do we sweat?
In order to understand this common process of our bodies, we’ll make it simple: during a physical activity, especially if practiced in hot, sunny environments, our body increases its temperature as a way to protect itself. That’s why it starts to perspire. The sweat evaporation is what makes the body to adjust its own temperature, avoiding hyperthermia (the increase of body temperature), which could lead to some complications.
While exercising, the necessity of releasing heat becomes even more intense. Both for the increase on the intensity, and for the increase of the environment’s temperature, sweating becomes mandatory. The consequence of this action is the loss of body liquids through perspiration and urination, increasing the necessity of drinking water.
Now that you know a bit more about how to avoid common problems during the practice of a physical activities outside, it’s about time you went outdoors to feel the wind and the sun over your skin. The sun, in fact, offers lots of benefits to our health – it replaces our vitamin D supply, it fights inflammations, and it makes our bones grow stronger.