5 tips for safe fun in the sun

drinking water

Now that most of us are enjoying the extra hours of daylight provided by Mother Nature, it certainly is tempting to want to bring clients outside for their workouts. Indeed, there is much one can do in the great outdoors, if for no other reason than to take advantage of an opportunity to vary the training protocol.

However, sunshine and heat can also prove to be a hindrance when expending excessive amounts of energy. Here are some key points for you, the trainer, to keep in mind, and mention them to clients before and during an outdoor exercise session.

#1 Hydration

Without a doubt, hydration tops the list. For a typical 50-minute training session, I’d encourage clients to stick to water. If the class, such as a Boot Camp variety, extends beyond an hour’s time frame, it may be wise to switch the beverage of choice to one that can also provide simple carbohydrates and electrolytes. My go-to favorite is the natural, refreshing coconut water. Yes, it’s an acquired taste. But well worth the effort! A cautionary note here: consumption of excessive amounts of fluid may lead to stomach cramping, so modify wisely.

drinking water

 

#2 Timing

Some clients do have flexibility in their lifestyles. If so, take advantage of this and try scheduling workouts either early in the morning or close to dusk. Avoiding the heat of the day while exercising will be appreciated greatly by your client, and you too will find the training more enjoyable.  It’ll set the tone for their day!

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#3 Warm up

It may seem counterintuitive on a hot summer day, but try easing into an outdoor workout with a slightly longer warm-up. Yes, your client is already warm (on the outside), if not hot; however, this slower transition affords both of you a chance to observe how the body is handling the workload.

#4 Med Check

From personal experience with our children, I have seen how certain prescription medications can have a profound effect on how the skin perceives the intensity of the sun. Before planning an outdoor exercise session, politely suggest that your client checks the labels and possible side effects of any medications he/she may be currently taking.

heart check

 

#5 Cool-down

Keep an eye on your watch or phone, and save sufficient time for a significant post-exercise cool-down. It is always a good idea to include hydration at this point.  Focused breathing can also help bring the heart rate down, initiating the recovery process.

stretching

 

Have fun in the sun —- safely!

About

Cathleen Kronemer is an NFPT CEC writer and a member of the NFPT Certification Council Board. Cathleen is an AFAA-Certified Group Exercise Instructor, NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer, ACE-Certified Health Coach, former competitive bodybuilder and freelance writer. She is employed at the Jewish Community Center in St. Louis, MO. Cathleen has been involved in the fitness industry for over three decades. Feel free to contact her at [email protected] She welcomes your feedback and your comments!