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6 Outdoor Workout Hazards - and How to Prevent Them

Spending time with nature has its benefits -- fresh air, vitamin D from the sun, and a nice change of scenery to help you unwind. But taking your workout from the gym to the great outdoors has its downsides too. Here's what you need to know before heading out for a sweat.
woman listening to music Heat and Dehydration

Yes, warmer temps will mean sweating more, but it's important to know when it's simply too hot to be outside. Before you head out on a run, spin, or hike, check forecasts so you can plan accordingly. Remember to stay hydrated and bring a water bottle so you won't have to worry about finding water fountains on your route. Humidity also plays a large role. "High humidity prevents sweat from evaporating, which prevents the body from getting cooler," says Debi Pillarella, ACE-certified master trainer and expert. The Heat Stress Index, used by forecasters and ACE-certified fitness professionals to coach clients about safe outdoor training, shows that 50 percent humidity makes a 90-degree day feel more like 96 degrees. To avoid heat exhaustion, sunburn, and heat stroke, pay attention to this scale. "When the heat stress index rises above 90 degrees, you may want to consider rescheduling your workout early in the morning or much later in the day," Pillarella recommends.