Must-Know Tips for Taking Fitness Outside

With the temperatures rising and summer quickly approaching, it's the perfect opportunity to move your exercise regimen outside. That doesn't mean you should quit going to the gym completely, but perhaps you can do some activities like running, cycling or swimming outdoors instead of at the gym or sports center. Studies show that even the best-ventilated rooms can't compete with fresh air when it comes to quality. Plus, this also gives you the chance to start working on your tan. However, moving outside should be done incrementally over a period of two weeks so your body has time to adjust to the new conditions. Once you are fully acclimatized, you will also need to take into account the different (and much hotter) environment and act accordingly so you don't experience any health problems. Here are some awesome tips on how to stay cool and maximize your summer exercise.
Stay hydrated

We all know staying hydrated is important, but that is especially true when working out in higher temperatures and humidity. Even mild dehydration can cause a plethora of health issues such as headaches and fatigue while going without water for extended periods of working out can lead to a fever and even fainting spells. Make sure to drink water before you head into the scorching heat and always carry a water bottle with you. And while sports drinks may advertise themselves as great for working out, they are often overloaded with unnecessary sugars (and therefore calories) and should be avoided, at least in large quantities. If you are going to be out for a long period of time, pack a piece of fruit – it's refreshing and provides an energy boost. Popular choices include bananas and dates due to their high potassium content. A good gauge of your water intake is your urine – if it's pale yellow, then you are sufficiently hydrated, but a darker and more yellow color indicates you need to drink more water.

Proper clothing
It's always important to have the right clothes for any occasion, and summer workouts are no different. Adding a couple of new pieces of clothing to your summer wardrobe is a good idea and well worth the investment. Look for lightweight clothes that allow your skin to breathe and your sweat to evaporate, stick to lighter colours and avoid any heavyweight or dark apparel. Ladies, if you purchase a high-end sports bra and a pair of quality workout booty shorts, you will not regret your decision as these items go a long way in preventing excessive chaffing. For guys, you can't go wrong with a classic cotton T-shirt and shorts combination. Also, don't forget to apply sunblock to any exposed skin to avoid getting sunburned. Commonly missed areas include lower legs, ears, back of the neck and scalp for people with very short haircuts or lack of hair.

Respect your environment
When you make the switch from indoors to outdoors, it's important to remember that you may need to change some of your workout habits to correspond with this change. For example, you should aim to avoid the heat of midday and exercise in the early morning or evening when it's cooler and include swimming in your routine if it wasn't part of it before. Be mindful of the terrain – if you are running or hiking on uneven ground or grass, be careful of your footing to avoid twisting and injuring your ankle. Pay extra close attention to traffic and other pedestrians if you choose to run on the streets of your city. And perhaps most importantly, know when to call it quits, even if you haven't finished your usual workout routine.
You may be used to regularly running five miles on the treadmill, but running the same distance outdoors in the sweltering heat is another matter entirely. As mentioned earlier, your body needs time to adjust and it's not something you want to rush. Listen to your what your body is telling you and if you start experiencing any heatstroke symptoms such as dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea, headaches or muscle weakness/cramps, immediately stop and find a place to cool off. After all, there's no point in you collapsing in the middle of your run and being unable to exercise for the next couple of days. Remember that when it comes to exercise, the frequency of days spent working out is far more important than the intensity of any single session.

Mia Taylor is a fashion and beauty enthusiast from Sydney and writer for She loves writing about her life experiences. Travelling and enjoying other cultures and their food with her husband is a big part of her life. She is always on the lookout for new trends in fashion and beauty, and considers herself an expert when it comes to lifestyle tips.
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