Safety tips for outdoor exercise
As we head into summer, many people will want to exercise outside to stay active and get some fresh air. That’s good news, as health experts recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week. Moving your workout outdoors can also boost your mood and improve your concentration so you can live well and work well – June 2023!
Trails, training parks, sports fields and stairs provide endless opportunities to switch up your training. However, exercising in hot and humid weather can put extra stress on your body, so consider the following tips for safe outdoor exercise:
- Avoid the hottest part of the day. If possible, plan your workout before 10.00 or after 15.00 to avoid strong sun rays.
- Wear light-colored clothing. Dark colors absorb the heat, while light colors reflect the sun. Light, loose-fitting clothing helps air circulate and keeps you cool.
- Apply sunscreen. Choose a broad spectrum sunscreen that is at least 30 SPF. Reapply every two hours, even if the label says it’s sweat-proof. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat can also protect your face from the sun.
- Stay hydrated with water. Drink water before you go out and try to take sips every 15 minutes during your workout – whether you’re thirsty or not.
- Replenish your electrolytes. Instead of reaching for a sports drink after a workout, consider replacing your electrolytes with foods like chia seeds, kale, coconut, or fruits and vegetables.
- Listen to your body. If you feel dizzy, faint or nauseous, stop exercising immediately. Sit in the shade and drink water until you feel better.
Your body may need to adjust to outdoor exercise, so follow its lead and gradually increase the pace or intensity. As always, talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise.
How diet affects the brain
Nutrition plays a critical role in brain function, as the brain is one of the most metabolically active organs in the body. The brain requires a constant supply of nutrients to maintain its structural and functional integrity, and a deficiency in any of these nutrients can significantly affect brain health.
Certain nutrients have been shown to have a positive effect on brain function. For example, omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish (such as salmon and tuna), nuts and seeds have been shown to improve cognitive function, memory and mood. The B vitamins in leafy greens, legumes and whole grains are important for producing neurotransmitters that regulate mood and behavior. Antioxidants, found in colorful fruits and vegetables, protect the brain from oxidative stress and inflammation. Overall, a well-balanced diet rich in nutrients and low in processed foods and sugar is essential for optimal brain health and function.
Talk to your doctor if you have questions about brain health.
Health benefits of gardening
As we head into the growing season, gardening is a great way to spend time outdoors—and get some exercise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention counts activities like raking and mowing grass as light to moderate exercise—while shoveling, digging, and chopping wood are considered vigorous exercises. In addition to physical activity, consider these health benefits of gardening:
- Increased vitamin D levels which are necessary for body functions
- Increased self-esteem
- Improved mood
- Reduced stress and anxiety
Your doctor can provide additional tips for wellness management.
Check out last month’s edition of Live Well Work Well – May 2023.
All of us here at CoverLink Wishing you continued health and safety this year!