One of my favorite parts of summer is taking a daily run in the warm heat, free of any extra layers of clothing. This allows my body to “touch” the air and get the benefits of direct sunlight to synthesize vitamin D. Feeling the sun on your face and sweating out toxins can help the body detoxify, but it may lead to dehydration if you do not take precautions before, during, and after your workout. As you probably know, dehydration can cause an array of health problems, including serious conditions such as dizziness, fainting, blood pressure imbalance and even cardiac arrest. This summer, beat the heat with these tips to make sure you are staying safe while enjoying your workout!
- Hydrate the night before: Our bodies are constantly using water, so make sure that you don’t wait until the last minute before your workout to drink water. The average amount of water you should be drinking daily is your weight divided by half in ounces (do not exceed 80 ounces daily) so keep drinking that water throughout the day! I use a Mason Jar or glass water bottle to keep track of the amount of water I drink and make sure it’s free of the toxins found in plastic bottles!
- Eat a small, carb-rich snack before: Making sure you have the right fuel in your body before exercising can allow you to make the most out of your workout. Eat a light snack that provides needed nutrients, like a piece of fruit or a brown rice cake with nut butter (make sure it is spread thinly so it is not too heavy for the workout). Allow 30 minutes for the snack to undergo some digestion before starting exercise.
- Use Sun Protection: When you’re working out, it’s easy to focus on the muscles in your body, but don’t forget about your largest organ: your skin! When going out in direct sun for longer than 20 minutes, make sure that you put on a layer of mineral-based sports sunscreen that will protect, but won’t infect you with dangerous chemicals commonly found in commercial brands. I recommend the Babo Botanicals Sheer Zinc Spray sunscreen. It’s lightweight and stays on you, even during your sweatiest workout session. Also, wearing a hat can give you major cooling benefits and protect you from those harsh UV rays on your scalp and face!
- Bring a wet towel: Our bodies sweat to keep us cool, but sometimes we need to give them a little extra help to make sure we don’t overheat. Take a cooling sports towel with you to take away the heat of the day! Best place for these towels are on top of your head as that is where we carry the majority of our body heat.
- Drink Electrolyte-Rich Water: Many people forget to drink water during their workout, but this is key to not dehydrating. Don’t gulp it down, but take small sips throughout to avoid GI distress and provide continuous hydration. Sweating causes the body to lose electrolytes – minerals key to homeostasis and balance. Fill your water bottle with diluted coconut water or watermelon juice – rich in nature-provided electrolytes. If you need more, consider a commercially available electrolyte powder – make sure its free of artificial flavors and colors. Stay tuned for our Wildatarian electrolyte powder that will be available for purchase in the near future!
- Eat a high protein snack within 30 minutes: After an intense workout, your body will need nutrients to rebuild muscles that were broken down by physical exertion. Proteins are the building blocks of our tissues and muscles, so make sure your post-workout snack is protein rich! Nuts such as almonds or cashews, healthy protein bars like the Epic brand, or a protein-rich smoothie can serve as an easy and restorative snack to help the body recover.
- Take a Cool Shower or Jump into a Pool: When your body has been working hard, it can take a while to cool back down. Submerging yourself in cool water, weather in your shower or outside in a pool can help your body acclimate back to normal body temperature, plus it feels amazing!
- Stretch out: Your muscles are able to stretch much further when you are warm, so it is a great opportunity to create more flexibility and prevent injuries.
Whether it’s running, biking, yoga, or baseball, you can enjoy your time in the sun in a safe and happy way! Happy Summer everyone!
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