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Jun 7, 2024

Exercise Tips to Beat the Heat This Summer

summer exercise; man running

Summer is the perfect season to take your fitness routine outside. Longer days and warmer weather bring plenty of opportunities to enjoy physical activities outdoors. Whether you’re into gardening, hiking, swimming, running, or biking, exercising in the summer can be both refreshing and invigorating. However, it’s important to prioritize your safety and well-being to avoid heat-related illnesses or injuries. Here are some essential tips for exercising during the summer:

Stay Hydrated

One of the most critical aspects of summer exercise is staying hydrated. When you exercise, especially in the heat, your body loses fluids through sweat, and it’s crucial to replace them to avoid dehydration. Watch for signs of dehydration such as thirst, headaches, cramps, and dry skin.

  • Pre-Workout Hydration: Drink water before you start exercising to ensure you are well hydrated.
  • During Workout: Keep a water bottle handy and take regular sips to maintain your hydration. Consider sports drinks for prolonged activities to replenish electrolytes.
  • Post-Workout Hydration: Continue drinking water after your workout to replace lost fluids and aid in your body’s recovery.

Choose the Right Time for Your Workout

Timing your workout wisely can help you avoid the intense midday heat. The best times to exercise outdoors during the summer are early in the morning or later in the evening.

  • Morning Workouts: Aim for between 6:30 AM and 10 AM.
  • Evening Workouts: Try to schedule your exercise between 4 PM and 7:30 PM.

Avoid exercising outdoors during the peak heat hours between 10 AM and 4 PM. If you must work out during these times, seek shaded areas and take frequent breaks.

Dress Appropriately

Wearing the right clothing can make a significant difference in how you feel during your summer workout. Opt for lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking fabrics to help keep your body cool and allow air to circulate.

  • Light-Colored Clothing: Light colors reflect sunlight, keeping you cooler than dark colors, which absorb heat.
  • Loose-Fitting Attire: Loose clothing allows air to circulate around your body, enhancing the cooling effect.
  • Sunscreen: Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 to protect your skin from UV rays, even on cloudy days.
  • Hat and Sunglasses: A hat can shield your face from the sun, and sunglasses can protect your eyes from UV rays and provide better visibility.

Monitor the Weather

Summer weather can be unpredictable, with sudden thunderstorms and high temperatures. Always check the weather forecast before heading outdoors for your workout.

  • Avoid Extreme Heat: Try not to exercise when temperatures exceed 98.6°F, especially if the humidity is high.
  • Watch for Predicted Storms: If thunderstorms are predicted, it’s best to exercise indoors or reschedule your outdoor activities.

Listen to Your Body

Pay close attention to how your body feels during exercise. Heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion and heat stroke can develop quickly.

  • Know the Signs: Symptoms of heat exhaustion can include heavy sweating, weakness, dizziness, nausea, and headache. A heat stroke is more severe and can include confusion, high body temperature, and unconsciousness.
  • Take Breaks: Rest in the shade or a cool area if you start feeling overheated.
  • Cool Down: Use a damp cloth on your neck or head or take a cool shower to lower your body temperature.

Plan Your Route

If you’re running or biking, plan your route to include shaded areas and water stations if possible. Parks with plenty of trees or trails that run near bodies of water can provide spots to stay cool along the way.

Use Proper Equipment

Ensure that your equipment, like running shoes or bike gear, is suitable for summer conditions. Breathable shoes and moisture-wicking socks can help prevent blisters and keep your feet comfortable in the hot weather.

Exercising in the summer can be enjoyable and beneficial, but it requires some extra precautions to stay safe. By following the tips mentioned above, you can make the most of your summer outdoor workouts while minimizing the risk of possible heat-related issues. Enjoy the beautiful weather and stay active, but remember – your health and safety always comes first.


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