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Older couple exercising outdoors

Exercising in the great outdoors

The summer months are a wonderful time to venture outdoors and incorporate exercise into your day.

ACH Group Exercise Physiologist Geo Kapalungan shares some tips on how to make the best of this time of the year.

Whether your goal is to increase your daily step count, improve strength, or simply support your health and wellbeing, exercising outside can be the perfect setting as it introduces you to different types of activities and locations beyond the confines of your home.

However, there are some important factors to consider when exercising outdoors especially as we head into warmer weather.

Check the temperature

Avoid exercising in the middle of the day when the temperature is at its peak.

This can prevent occurrences of any heat-related illnesses.

Lighting

Whether you are exercising in the morning or evening, check the lighting is appropriate.

This allows you to safely scope out the environment and be aware of any fall or trip hazards such as; potholes, uneven footpaths, or fallen branches.

Appropriate outdoor wear

Wearing clothing that is breathable such as lightweight, loose-fitting shirts or shorts made from polyester or nylon will allow your body to regulate temperature more easily.

Staying hydrated

When you exercise, sweating helps your body to cool. Keeping on top of your fluid intake is another way to manage your body temperature and avoid heat stress, while also replacing the fluids lost through sweating.

Listen to your body

Be aware of your body and how you are feeling.

If you experience symptoms of dizziness, have a headache, cramping, excessive sweating or other symptoms that cause you to be alarmed, stop exercising and speak with your health professional.

Choose equipment that allows safe exercise participation

When exercising outdoors you may need to consider using equipment.

This could include an exercise mat to prevent any slips or a mobility aid such as a walking stick or 4 wheeled walker to provide better stability.

If riding a bike outdoors, wear a helmet.

Consult a exercise professional

Before commencing an exercise program it is best to consult with your doctor or exercise professional.

Good Lives Magazine

This article was published in Good Lives Magazine – Issue 12.

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ACH Group Exercise Physiologists can create an exercise program tailored to your health, wellbeing and fitness goals.

Contact us to learn more about services that support older South Australians to live Good Lives.

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