7 Tips for Exercising Safely in the Sun

by Kadie Goodchild 10 Jan 2018

With a sweltering summer in full swing, many of us can’t wait to get outside, be active, and get fit. What better way than to do it for a good cause? Registrations are open for our Jabulani Trail Run starting in January and we have a few safety tips that will help keep you motivated and maintain your fitness goals during summer.

Stay hydrated

This sounds like an obvious one, but exercising in a hot climate increases your body temperature and you don’t want to risk overheating! Our bodies are known to have a natural cooling system but if we’re exposed to extreme temperatures for a long period of time, this system can fail, which could result in heat exhaustion or heat stroke. To maintain a cool body temperature, our bodies need to be stored with about 50-60% of water. Drinking during and after a workout is best, although having a piece of fruit will help replace valuable electrolytes.

Avoid the midday sun

The suns UV rays are strongest between 10 am and 4 pm which can have harmful effects on your skin, eyes and immune system which leads to exhaustion or heat stroke. Luckily, training for Jabulani Trail Run training takes place in the afternoon or early morning!

However, if midday is the only time you have the opportunity to work out, ensure you stay undercover in the shade, or if you’ve never been a keen swimmer, now might be the time to give it a go! But remember to read our 5 Essential Beach Safety Tips when heading out to the beach.

Dress accordingly

Lightweight clothing is ideal; it allows more air to circulate over your skin and will keep you feeling cooler. Moisture-wicking fabric is best as it keeps moisture out and dries fast, while cotton fabrics have a tendency to hold sweat.Don’t know what to wear? Check out our blog on the right running gear.

Be SunSmart

This should go without saying but wear sunscreen. Preventing sunburn will keep your body cooler and you won’t be feeling uncomfortable the next day. A water-resistant sunscreen is best for a sweaty workout and best applied below the eyes to prevent it running into your eyes. Remember to protect your forehead and scalp by wearing a hat!

It is UV radiation that causes sunburn and is the major cause of skin cancer. Before heading to the beach it’s best to check UV levels in your local area on the SunSmart website or via the free SunSmart app.

Be Prepared

It might sound obvious, but be prepared and don’t forget general safety, ensure you notify someone where you’re going beforehand and keep your phone on you in case of emergencies. You don’t want to have an injury and be stuck in a park or bush alone with no help

Start slow

You might be fit and healthy, but our bodies need adapting to exercising in warmer weather as it demands more energy. Your body can acclimatise and adapt to the heat by starting with half an hour a day for the first two weeks, and gradually increase your workout time outside. However, after your body has adapted and you increase time, you may want to reduce the intensity of your workout to avoid fatigue, dehydration and more.

Know when enough is enough

You’ve set a goal, whether that’s a time you want to beat or a number of reps you wish to complete, if you’re feeling like it’s getting too much, it’s time to head inside. The obvious symptoms include weakness, dizziness, light-headedness, headaches and nausea. Try to keep in mind your long-term goal of regular workouts instead of pushing yourself too hard and throwing yourself off for the rest of the week.

Get Professionally Coached Today!

We offer professionally coached training programs using qualified and experienced coaches. Can Too train all levels, from beginners to those more experienced, in structured training programs tailored to specific physical challenges such as run, ocean swim, triathlon or choral singing events.

Programs range from entry level distances such as 7km, 10km and 14km run programs and 1km ocean swims, to intermediate programs like sprint triathlons and half marathons, through to advanced programs such as marathons and trail runs.

Not sure which one is right for you? Have a look at all the Can Too programs we're holding in the upcoming year and secure your place today!