The outdoors is a great place to relax, seek adventure, and spend time in nature. Additionally, it’s the perfect and most beneficial place for exercise. The benefits of exercising outside include getting vitamin D from the sun, which helps calcium absorption and strengthens bones and teeth. There’s also unrestricted ventilation, allowing you to breathe better.
While you may want to start working out outside immediately after knowing this, you must observe safety precautions first—especially for weightlifting in the summer. After all, you wouldn’t want to endanger your health because of the heat or injure yourself due to neglect. With that said, here are a few ways to practice safe outdoor weightlifting this summer:
Drink water often
The high temperature outside, combined with the rising temperature of your body while lifting weights, can cause heatstroke and dehydration. These conditions can worsen quickly, which may land you in a hospital.
To prevent such instances, make sure to drink water regularly in between your sets. Also, listen to your body and drink when you’re thirsty. Bring a large water bottle with you to have enough water to complete your workout.
Wear sun-protective gear
Aside from heatstroke and dehydration, your eyes and skin—two of the most sensitive parts of your body—have a higher risk of eye and skin damage, like cataracts and sunburn. During the summer, you’ll be exposed to warmer and longer periods of sunlight when weightlifting.
So, protect your eyes by investing in some quality sunglasses that are suitable for outdoor weightlifting. The sunglasses should have UV protection to block the sun’s harmful rays, polarised lenses to reduce harsh glare and be durable enough in case you drop them on the floor. Oakley is a major sunglasses brand that many sports professionals use as they have all of these qualities, making them suitable for activities with lots of movement. Their Jawbreaker range features these qualities, as well as having a grip that sits on the nose to keep the glasses in place, perfect for when you're straining to push some iron. Meanwhile, wear sun-protective clothing to shield your skin from the sun. These have SPF50+, providing high protection against sunburn and other damage. The brand carries tops, pants, and leggings for your choosing.
Use safety accessories for your equipment
Since the outdoors lacks gym-grade facilities, you must be extra cautious of weightlifting to prevent accidents. For one, the terrain or concrete where you choose to work out may not have the same shock-absorbing ability as gym floors. Thus, if you drop a weight, it can bounce off the ground and hit you or someone else.
This is why safety accessories are essential, including collars for weightlifting bars. They prevent plate slippage, provide better balance and stability, and improve your workout performance. Besides using these safety accessories, have someone spot you during your weightlifting sessions. If you’re alone outdoors, there’s a high chance that no one will hear or see you get injured. As such, bring a friend to work out with you or ask a stranger for a quick spot.
Cool down after your workout
Entering an air-conditioned space from the extremely warm outdoors can shock your body. This may result in a drop in blood pressure and reduced oxygen entering your body.
Given this, remember to cool down after weightlifting outside. Find some shade where you can do stretches, light walking, and the rest of your cool-down routine. This will lower your heart rate, get your blood pressure back to normal, and allow your body temperature to decrease before coming in contact with a cooler atmosphere.
Outdoor weightlifting during summer is a great way to get vitamin D and experience better ventilation when working out. Still, it can lead to sun damage, injuries, and heatstroke, so remember the tips above before summer arrives.