Warmer temperatures and clear skies can be all fun until you remember you have to spend an hour or a half under the same heat during your daily walks. One of the challenges of walking outdoors is adjusting to extreme temperatures. Looking on the brighter side, we have the ability to predict what seasons to expect at what particular time.
This, therefore, gives us enough time to plan ahead so that we don’t end up messing our fitness lifestyles. If you take your evening or early morning walks seriously, you know you cannot miss out on some days because of a rise in temperature. At the same time, you may have been doing it all wrong, prompting unnecessary injuries.
However, with these 9 tips for walking in the summer that I have highlighted for you, you’ll realize how enjoyable and safe summer walks are. You simply need the best walking shoes together with these tips to succeed when it comes to walking in summer.
Tips For Walking In The Summer
1. Keep Yourself Dehydrated
The slogan you should have is to always sip before you make any steps. It is general knowledge that we always sweat a lot when there’s a rise in the temperatures outside, compared to other days. It’s, therefore, recommended to take water more often in order to retain the water levels needed in the body.
Summer is not the season to drink water only when you feel thirsty, especially when you work out quite often. So here comes the question of how much water is enough? I would say there’s no limitation to what volumes of water to drink. This is because it depends on the distance you cover when walking, your weight, walking schedule and even age.
However, consuming water in excess might bring you complications like Hyponatremia, which might slow you down when walking. So, just stick to the right amounts for you. Remember to drink water hours before, during and also after your walk, no matter what time it is.
You can get yourself water packs or bottles which are easier to carry along, to ensure that you keep hydrated at all times.
2. Adjust Your Schedule
The radiation energy normally varies at different intervals throughout the day, depending on your location. So, you have to plan ahead and make the necessary changes on your previous schedule. You may have to get used to walking early in the morning or at dusk, depending on how the rest of your day looks like.
During these hours, the temperatures are usually lower, compared to the hours between 11 am and 3pm. However, as we had mentioned earlier, the sun rises and sets at different intervals, depending on your geographical location. So, the heat intensities might also vary.
The basic thing to do is to first monitor the heat intensity throughout the day before picking on the time of the day with relatively lower temperatures. I do recommend evening walks because they tend to help you unwind from some of those rough days, if you happen to have any.
3. Go Slow
Intense workouts do increase perspiration levels and fatigue in general. Our bodies require the right amount of water retained, so you should try to avoid any situations that might increase the rates of sweating. In that case, it’s advisable that you minimize the miles you usually cover when walking under normal circumstances, or alternatively slow down on your speed.
This will reduce how fatigued you get after every walk, thereby preventing injuries that you could be susceptible to. Covering extra miles will only have you straining your muscles to adjust to the conditions that surround the body, which is not good for your general well-being. This will also help in preventing your body from getting injuries.
4. Apply Cooling Tactics
There are simple tactics that you can apply to help cool your body. One of these is carrying a bottle of cold water to sprinkle, pour or squirt on your head, face and the neck. As the water flows through to the rest of the body, some of it will evaporate together with the heat the body acquired, leaving you feeling much better.
Another option is using cold packs, wet towels and bags of ice. Placing either of these on the neck area helps lower the body temperatures, keeping you cool. The only downside of this hack is that your frozen packs might end up warmer, especially after walking for extended hours.
5. Plan Your Route
Changes in weather dictate that you also make similar lifestyle changes. Sometimes even the clothes and other similar protective gears that we have in place are just not enough to keep us safe during summer. Hence, if you want optimal protection you may need to consider doing your walks on paths with more shade, because they’ll make the temperatures some degrees cooler.
These could be next to buildings or even trees if any. Mark these areas in your neighbourhood and figure out the ones that are perfect for you, so that you don’t have your body exposed to excess sunrays. However, ensure that such routes are safe for you, especially if you tend to walk all by yourself. Alternatively, you can opt for doing your walks indoors, just to be safe.
6. Dress Appropriately
As you adjust your routes and schedule, it’s equally important to make changes on what clothes to wear. The trick with dressing is balancing between breathable, lightweight and moisture-absorbing fabrics, making polyester and nylon the best choices. This is probably not the time to wear tight clothes which tend to cling onto the skin the moment you start to sweat.
You need clothes that absorb moisture and dry real fast at the same time, in order to keep you cooler and safer from skin discomfort related to sweating. So avoid clothes made of cotton as much as you can. You’ll need them when winter season kicks in to help keep you warmer. In addition to that, hot days comes with a lot of fatigue, therefore you shouldn’t go for anything heavy that will bring in extra weight when walking.
At the end of it all, always ensure that you’re comfortable throughout the exercise. Generally, you can opt for vests and shorts and ensure they’re in bright colours to help reflect the sun rays away from the body.
7. Cover Up
Having the right clothes isn’t all. You have to accessorise with hats, sunglasses and sunscreen for extra protection. Hats always come in handy in keeping the neck and face from the sun. However, you should go for those with fabrics which ensure that the hat remains glued to the head. You can even make your own adjustments in order for it to fit perfectly, to avoid making adjustments every now and then when walking.
Sunglasses aren’t only fashionable, but good for your eye area as well. The good news is that you don’t really require special sunglasses for walking. So, you don’t need to spend extra dollars if you already have a couple of pieces in your closet.
Being that you’ll probably be in light clothes which barely cover the whole body, it’s also vital to protect the rest of the parts that could be exposed to sunrays. Invest in a good brand of sunscreen for optimal protection, helping keep your skin in its original form.
8. Choose the Right Footwear
We all know summer is that time of the year when all we want is to ditch closed shoes as much as we can, or just go barefoot all together. However, walking is categorised as sports, therefore, it calls for the right footwear even when it’s hot. This doesn’t mean that you have to stick to those shoes that you use to keep your feet warm and dry during winter.
When it comes to shoes, it’s all about breathability during summer. Shoes with breathable uppers enable free circulation of air, thereby maintaining the conditions within the shoe. If you have to wear socks for extra cushioning, invest in a decent pair of socks made of synthetic fibre, to help absorb sweat and prevent blistering.
At the same time, you shouldn’t have the shoes and socks on for extended hours. You need to take breaks in order to let your feet breathe, preventing unnecessary injuries or fatigue. In addition to that, you need to form a habit of alternating shoes. Wearing the same pair of shoes repeatedly often leads to feet and shoe odour, which is normally embarrassing and irritating.
9. Monitor any Signs of Dehydration or Heat Sickness
Sometimes we might take all the necessary precautions, but end up being unsuccessful to some extent. This is why it’s always ideal to watch out for any signs of dehydration or heat-related injuries. This will enable you to take the right action, before the situation develops into something else. Some of the things to look out for are: Increased heart rate, impaired vision, thirst, dry mouth, headaches and hallucinations.
Your health matters, and so it’s important to always end your exercise the moment you start to experience these signs. You’re required to only proceed once you have figured out what might be the cause and hopefully found a solution, preferably after seeing a professional.
We believe you have learned several tips for walking in the summer. Walking is one of the best refreshing and effortless ways to keep the body in the right shape. So, don’t let the hot temperatures ruin your walking routine. All you have to do is have all the necessary precautions in place.
Failure to do so is what makes you vulnerable to certain health and skin dangers. However, if you infuse these tips for walking in the summer into your routine, then you don’t have to worry about summer walks anymore.