Protect yourself from summertime extremes

After our long, snow-filled winters, it definitely seems like everyone in Buffalo has finally found the perfect time to go outside and have some fun. Whether it’s swimming, biking, or running, everything is more fun when it is outside. If you’re not careful, between the heat and humidity, the summer weather can be a problem for those who enjoy exercising outside. Here are a few tips to help you stay motivated and safe while exercising outdoors this summer.

One of the biggest challenges to exercising in the heat is staying hydrated and maintaining the body’s electrolytes and salt. When a person sweats, the body loses all of these things. Make sure that you keep your water bottle near to stave off dehydration, which can lead to a feeling of light-headedness and nausea. On the other hand, if you are drinking too much water without replenishing your electrolytes, you can experience hyponatremia. Hyponatremia is known to cause confusion, nausea, and muscle cramps. Before you go out, drink a few glasses of water and continue to carry a bottle or hydration pack. Try to take a few sips every 15 minutes, regardless if you are thirsty or not. If you are exercising for a longer duration, you can supplement with an electrolyte tab (such as Nuun hydration), salted pretzels, or even soy sauce or mustard if you need a portable, quick salt intake during a race or workout.

Unless you are training for an event that is taking place in daytime heat, try to avoid exercising in the hottest part of the day, from 10am until 3pm. The early morning and late evening hours generally provide some relief from heat and humidity. Wearing light colors also helps to reflect the heat. Dry-fit and cotton clothing also help sweat evaporate quickly and are good choices to keep cool. Sunscreen is also a must to protect your skin, even on cloudy days. Do your best to stay in the shade and keep out of direct sunlight.

Most importantly, listen to your body! Don’t be ashamed to stop your workout or take a break if you are feeling dizzy, faint, or nauseous. If there is a heat advisory in your area, take your workout indoors and play it safe so that you do not damage your lungs due to high ozone or air pollution.

Blitz Body at Canal Side is a perfect way to get outdoors and enjoy an amazing workout with friends and family for free. Jada Blitz hosts this fun event every Tuesday evening at 7pm until August 31st. Bring your water, sunscreen, and a mat and get ready for a summer sweat session!

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