For many Floridians, these past few weeks have involved getting used to the idea of being indoors for the majority of the day. But what happens to exercise in times like this?
Before, you could rely on an air-conditioned gym to provide a comfortable spot for getting in shape, but those aren’t available right now. You could exercise inside, but many find it challenging to self-motivate within the confines of their home.
That leaves one option: braving the heat and humidity to get exercise outdoors while remaining safely socially distanced. Experts agree that, while you shouldn’t gather in groups, it’s still important to get out for a helping of fresh air and Vitamin D. To help you exercise in the hot South Florida heat, here are a few simple tips.
Pre-Hydrate, Hydrate and Rehydrate!
In other words: drink water before you exercise, keep a water bottle handy while you exercise, and replenish your bodily fluids when you’ve finished exercising. The main danger in exercising outdoors – especially cardiovascular exercise that produces a lot of sweat – is dehydration, which can cause disorientation and fatigue.
When you’re finished your workout, whether it be a jog, bike ride or roller skate, consider replenishing your body with water, electrolytes and a few calories by sipping on a sports drink.
Wear Breathable Clothing
It’s important to stay comfortable and dry while out there. No one wants their jog interrupted by the annoyance of a sopping wet or itchy running shirt. For breathability, comfort and sweat-wicking, opt for shirts made from “merino wool” – a light, ultra-fine fabric perfect for hot weather. They’re popular with travelers and joggers alike because there’s no need to wash these t-shirts – in addition to their sweat-wicking and breathability, the fine wool is also antimicrobial, repelling odor-causing bacteria.
Pick a Cooler Time of Day
So perhaps midday isn’t the wisest time for a South Florida run. Instead, try to get your outdoor exercise done either in the morning or later in the evening. That way, you stay out of the sun when it’s at its most intense, lessening the chances of dehydration or sunstroke. An in addition to the cooler climate, there will be fewer people on the streets at this time, making social distancing easier.
If the Sun’s Too Intense, Turn Back Around
If it’s too hot out – like, uncomfortably hot – don’t be afraid to turn back around and go home. On punishingly hot days, it’s wiser to work out indoors, with a good AC setup. If you need added motivation to exercise indoors, consider downloading a fitness routine app, many of which have easy-to-follow videos that keep you moving without overheating.
A little fresh air is good for, but too much sun can have a negative effect. If you’re exercising outdoors, take the necessary precautions with hydration and heat, and be sure to wear cool, comfortable clothing. You may not be able to show your beach bod off at the beach for the time being, but you can still work on it!