Warm Weather Fitness

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Warm Weather Fitness

Written By FCS Intern: Tommy Hernandez 

Welcome to warm weather once again! As we leave the cold and chilly weather behind, it is time to get up and experience the nice spring and summer temperatures. It is finally starting to feel like Spring, and the best way to enjoy it is by spending time outdoors. Warmer weather always seems to attract more people outdoors, and with this we can once again have a sense of community. It is always nice to see others out and about! There are many activities one can partake in with warmer weather such as going to the park, having a picnic, sitting out in the porch, and exercising. Now, when it comes to exercise there are several components one must be aware of to have a safe and fun session.

Exercise Options

What kind of exercise can I do? There are endless amounts of things one can do outdoors. Walking is a simple yet effective activity that most people can participate in, and one that requires no equipment. Jogging is another activity that requires no equipment unless you choose to wear a weight vest or perhaps carry some weight. You can take exercise equipment such as dumbbells, yoga mats, and jump ropes to your local park or even just your backyard, and get a good workout in. While some might enjoy traditional workouts and routines, it doesn’t have to be that limited, you can do other activities outside like playing soccer, American football, ultimate frisbee. As you can see there are many exercise options to engage in outdoors.

Hydration/Safety

As we exercise in hotter environments, we must pay close attention to our hydration levels.(1) Exercising in hot and humid environments can disturb our body temperature and fluid balance, which has the chance of causing a heat injury.(1) What can we do? Making sure you drink enough water and fluids is the first step in becoming properly hydrated. When you get warm, your blood vessels dilate (expand), and you start to sweat, which cools the body.(2) Another method to help avoid risk of heat injury is to exercise during the coolest part of the day, which could be early in the morning or later in the afternoon, heading into evening times.(1) If one chooses to work out in hot environments, decreasing the intensity and duration of the work out can help avoid heat injury.(1) 

Wearing light clothing is also recommended.(1) How can you tell if you are hydrated? One of the ways you can tell if you are hydrated is by checking the color of your urine, when hydrated, urine is a light lemonade color, and when not properly hydrated, urine is typically darker (2) How much water should you drink? The Adequate Intake(AI) amount of water for men is 3.7 Liters, or about 16 cups of water a day, and 2.7 Liters for women, about 12 cups of water.(2)  This number varies based on your size, body composition and activity level.(2)

To be properly hydrated for your outdoor exercise, drinking 2-3 cups of water, 1-3 hours before you start will help keep you hydrated.(1) It should be known that frequent water breaks throughout your workout is recommended to maintain a proper hydration status.(1) Drinking fluids after exercising is just as important as drinking fluids beforehand.

With so many outdoor activities to choose from, remember to stay hydrated, have fun, and enjoy the warm weather!

References

  1.       Powers SK, Howley ET. Exercise Physiology : Theory and Application to Fitness and Performance. Ninth ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education; 2015.
  2.       Insel PM, Ross D, McMahon K, Bernstein M. Discovering Nutrition. Sixth ed. Burlington: Jones & Bartlett Learning; 2018. INSERT-MISSING-URL. Accessed May 5, 2021.