Play save this summer

It's finally summer! Exercising outside increases exponentially during the summer months because of great weather and various sports leagues starting. Also, the kids are out of school and you're probably more inspired than ever to get fit because of the World Cup. Exercising outside is a good way to get some vitamin D and it's also a great mental change of pace. However, it pays off to be smart about it.

Here are a few ways to play safe this summer:

  • Warm up.
    • Even though it's pretty hot outside, warming up your muscles prior to use is still necessary. A 5-10 minute warm up gradually increases your heart rate and increases blood circulation to muscles, making them more flexible and decreasing the chance of injury.
  • Hydrate.
    • Hydration is always important when working out but even more important during hot summer months because we tend to sweat more due to increased ambient temperature. Replacing lost fluids is critical to prevent dehydration and assist the body during its recovery after exercise.
  • Wear appropriate gear.
    • As previously stated, we tend to sweat more in the summer due to increased ambient temperature. Wearing loose fitted, cotton clothing while working out can prevent heat related illnesses by allowing sweat to evaporate off the skin, thereby assisting the body with cooling.
  • Use sunscreen.
    • A tan is actually the body's response to sun damage. Using sunscreen decreases the risk of many skin cancers and you'll still get a light tan because no sunscreen can block 100% of UV rays.
  • Time your workout appropriately.
    • The sun is typically the hottest between 10 am and 2 pm. It's best to avoid exercising outside between these hours if possible. However, if you must, keep workouts short in duration, decrease intensity, and be aware of the signs of heat exhaustion (dizziness, headache, nausea). If you experience any of these symptoms, stop exercising immediately, sit in the shade, and sip a cool drink. Call for help if symptoms do not resolve quickly.

To find out more about how to achieve your rehabilitation goals, please feel free to contact us at any time.

Kristina Maxwell, Doctor of Physiotherapy

Eamon Wilson