Summer brings joy to so many of us in the form of backyard barbecues, block parties, lying in the sun, and ... exercising?
I live in the Midwest, which means that winters are hard -- and even harder as I get older. Translation: exercising outside is fraught with peril. Between the below-zero weather and the ice that seems to begin November 1 and hang on until well into the spring, it's hard to want to get out of the house to work out.
But despite temperatures often soaring near 100 with 98 percent humidity, summer brings with it sunshine, the ability to go outside without being bundled up, and plenty of awesome opportunities to work out in the fresh air!
There are some things you need to consider while exercising in the summer. Read on for common summer exercise mistakes you DON'T want to make!
1) Water, water everywhere. While many of us feel cool and refreshed after swimming laps, for instance, it's fairly simple to forget that working out in the water does mean that you are still working out -- and that your body still needs to be hydrated. Since the pool often masks the feeling of sweating, the body doesn't take the cue to chug-a-lug some water.
2) Back to black. While no one can deny that black clothing is slimming and makes us feel our best -- especially if it's made of some type of Lycra -- it absorbs the heat from the sun, which means you can overheat much more easily if you wear black when you're getting fit.
3) Food -- yuck. In the summer months, after a particularly intense workout, most of us would rather throw up than think about eating anything. But you still need to refuel afterwards, so try to eat a protein- and carb-rich snack within 30 minutes of exercising.
4) Loose clothes. While Spandex can make us feel confined, loose clothing can chafe your skin even if it seems more comfortable in the heat. And your sweat will only make the chafing worse.
5) Java time. Drinking more than five cups of hot tea or coffee before working out is a very bad idea. While using caffeine can make you feel as though you can run faster, longer, caffeine is a diuretic. That means that coffee intake can increase the likelihood of dehydration.
6) Hydrating ONLY while working out. By the time most people get to the track or pool in the summer months, they're already dehydrated. Which means you should drink plenty of water before, during, AND after your workout to ensure you can stave off dehydration and muscle cramps.
What other summer exercise mistakes can you think of?
Image via lululemon athletica/Flickr