This blog expands on our summer newsletter. Make sure you subscribe to our email list to receive the latest in healthcare and wellness with GLIM!
The summertime brings a great chance to get outdoors and get moving! Not only is outdoor exercise good for your physical health, but it is great for your mental health. Performing cardio outside can be done in various forms, including walking, biking, running, and hiking. Even just a 30 minute stroll outside has various health benefits, including strengthening bones and muscle power as well as reducing your risk of developing diseases such as diabetes and osteoporosis. If you aren’t quite ready for 30 minutes, research supports short bursts of exercise have the same health benefits! For example, two 15 minute walks garner the same benefits as a 30 minute walk. Your mind will also thank you! When you exercise outdoors in the sunshine, your body is not only producing endorphins (hormones that help make you happy) associated with exercise, but also serotonin (another happiness hormone) increases in the sun. Cardio outdoors is truly a win-win. Just make sure you wear sunscreen!
Another great opportunity to exercise outside is to do outdoor yoga. Yoga in many forms increases strength and flexibility, but there are additional benefits to taking your yoga practice outside. With yoga’s focus on deep breathing, being outdoors in the pure air is healthier for your practice. This is the case even in larger cities like Chicago! With this in mind, taking your yoga practice outdoors can help you find your center.
An additional option to get in your physical activity that is especially great during the summer is swimming. Swimming is great cardio that is easier on your joints than walking or running, which makes it especially perfect for those who are recovering from injuries or newer to cardio. However, swimming can be great for anyone! Just be sure that you are practicing good water safety, especially when swimming in open water such as Lake Michigan (click here to learn more about swimming out of currents).
Regardless of what activity you choose, it is important to make sure you are staying hydrated. In general, you want to drink half your body weight in ounces daily. For example, a 160 lb person should drink 80 ounces of water daily. When you are exercising or in warmer weather make sure to increase your water intake. A good rule of thumb is that by the time you become thirsty, you are already dehydrated. If you experience symptoms such as dizziness, confusion, or rapid breathing call 911 immediately as you may be experiencing heat exhaustion or pending heat stroke that requires immediate medical attention. If you are not a fan of drinking water, GLIM recommends adding fruit, cucumbers, or herbs such as mint to your water for a great refreshing flavor. Whatever works for you, be sure to make hydration a priority this summer especially when exercising outdoors!
The GLIM team hopes you make a plan to get outdoors this summer! To discuss other ways to improve your wellness journey, contact GLIM for a free introductory call today.