Summertime Fitness 101: How to Prevent Blisters, Chaffing, and Sunburns
Working out is awesome, but chaffing, blisters and sunburns are not. As you look to get your sweat on this summer, here are some tips for sticking with your fitness routine pain-free:
Choose Light, Loose-fitting Clothes
One of the easiest ways you can prepare for a workout in the heat is with proper clothing. Ensure you are wearing loose-fitting, light-colored clothes made of cotton or better yet, a wicking fabric designed to keep you cool, dry and chaff free. Loose-fitting fabrics will also allow heat to escape more easily — so save your dark-colored, full-length leggings for a cooler day.
Sunscreen, Sunscreen, Sunscreen
This should go without saying, but sunscreen in an absolute must if you are heading outside — especially for an extended period of time in the direct sun. Don’t skimp out with a low SPF — the American Academy of Dermatology recommends that you use a water-resistant broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 that protects against UVA and UVB rays every day that you will be outside. Even on cloudy days, the sun still emits harmful rays. Be extra careful when you are in the sand or near water as they can reflect the rays and increase your chances of sunburn.
Hydration is Key
When you are working out in hotter than normal temperatures, water is more important than ever. As a rule, you should be drinking water at least every 15 minutes during exercise, even if you are not thirsty, to stay hydrated. Be sure to also hydrate before and after you work out to avoid cramping and dehydration.
Avoid Peak Times
In most places, the hottest part of the day falls between 2-5 p.m. — consider these times a no-go for outdoor exercise. Plan to head outside for a workout after temperatures have cooled down or early in the morning before things have had a chance to heat up. Don’t forget to account for humidity as well, as that can impact the way your body cools itself down.
Keep Cool with Essential Oils
If you are looking for a natural remedy to keep cool while you exercise outside, try putting a few drops of peppermint or eucalyptus oil on your temples and the back of your neck when you head outdoors to workout. As you move, the cooling effect will provide some natural AC to keep you from overheating.
Choose the Right Footwear
The best way to keep your feet blister-free is to choose properly fitting shoes that are not too tight or abrasive in one spot. If you bring a pair of shoes home and learn they aren’t the best fit, you can try rubbing petroleum jelly on your skin where the irritation occurs to provide a barrier and some relief, as well as protection from further pain.