With gym visits and fitness classes off the cards for the foreseeable future, more of us than ever are exercising outdoors. Outdoor exercise has a plethora of benefits including being more challenging as training on uneven surfaces improves your balance and core skills, as well as allowing us to get fresh air, connect with nature and get a healthy dose of vitamin D. Read on to read our tips to stay safe and have fun exercising outdoors.
As approximately 60% of our body is water it is vital to hydrate before, during and after exercise. Especially when outdoors in the sun! You can lose up to two litres of fluid an hour whilst exercising through sweating and breathing. If you are dehydrated before you start exercising your core temperature will rise quicker and your heart will work harder than necessary leading to reduced performance and potentially heat stroke. The amount you sweat and therefore the amount of water you need is dependent on fitness levels, body size, environment and exercise intensity. If you are exercising for longer than an hour, electrolyte drinks such as Ener-C Sport Electrolyte Drink Mix can replenish lost fluid as well as electrolytes like sodium, potassium and magnesium which are lost when sweating.
Stay Safe in the Sun
If the sun makes an appearance during your workout remember to take the necessary precautions to prevent sun damage. Sun protection is always necessary, yes even when it’s cloudy! Whilst exercising, choose a water-resistant sunscreen such as Green People Scent Free Sun Lotion SPF30 to stay protected whilst you sweat. To learn more about sun protection, and find a product suitable for you, check out our article on sunscreen HERE. It is also important to remember that when summer arrives and the temperature increases, try and avoid exercising between 11am and 3pm to reduce the risk of heat stroke.
Take Regular Breaks
Remember to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard. Take regular breaks to prevent symptoms of heat stroke such as a headaches, dizziness and confusion, feeling sick, pale and clammy skin or cramps in the arms, legs and stomach. If you or anyone you’re exercising with has any of the symptoms, then stop exercising immediately and concentrate on cooling down. Move to a cool place, lie down, raise up the feet, rehydrate and cool the skin with water or a fan. If you are still feeling unwell after 30 minutes of resting in a cool place and drinking plenty of water, then call 999.
Be Aware of Mosquitos
One negative of exercising in the great outdoors is mosquitos. If you exercise in parks, especially next to water, or in the early morning and evening then mosquito activity is likely to be high. Use insect repellent to protect yourself from painful bites. Apply Incognito Insect Repellent Roll On before leaving the house and take Incognito Insect Repellent Spray with you to top up on the go. These non-greasy repellents protect you for up to 4 hours against horseflies, ticks and midges, as well as mosquitos.
As well as being essential for energy, protein is needed post exercise for muscle recovery and growth. If you can’t stomach a meal after exercise or are on-the-go, then a protein shake is a convenient and quick way to get your protein hit in. Form Superblend Protein Chocolate is a delicious protein supplement with added fibre, prebiotics and probiotics for a healthy gut. If you exercise in the evening, then Motion Nutrition Chocolate Spice Evening Shake aids recovery after a workout whilst preparing your body for sleep with relaxing reishi and chamomile.