Summer is upon us! The heat waves are coming and most places are seeing warm weather already. While sweating more than we do during the winter doesn’t cause the body to burn more calories, it does have the potential to create dangerous situations. Here are 7 Tips for Summer Time Exercise that will help ensure your safety when you’re working out in the heat.
Hydrate! Water and sports drinks are your best bet for staying hydrated, which will help you avoid heat exhaustion, stroke and other heat related summer time exercise induced conditions. Be careful to avoid alcohol, soda and other caffeinated drinks, especially before your workout, and aim to have 1/2 ounce of water per pound of body weight each day (200 pounds? Shoot for 100 ounces of water every 24 hours).
Dress less. Summer time exercise isn’t always a fashion show. It’s about wearing what keeps you the most comfortable while helping you stay cool. Light colors that reflect instead of attract the sun and lightweight sweat wicking fabrics are a must for any warm weather warrior.
Have perfect timing. Schedule your workouts for cooler times of day. Early morning or after the sun sets as usually go-to times for summer time exercise, but if you have to catch some rays while you sweat, make sure you have shade nearby. Look for shaded trails or covered areas to keep the sun off your back, and if you’re near a beach, don’t be afraid to hit the sand and take a dip in the cool water.
Adjust everything slowly. Allow your body time to get used to warmer temperatures, higher humidity and working harder. Gradually expose your body to the more intense weather and within 10 to 14 days, you’ll be ready to handle the tougher conditions. You should also think about adjusting the difficulty and length of your session when you’re facing more than just a hard workout.
Lather up. Sunscreen is a must when you’re going to be getting your sweat on outside. Apply 15 minutes before you head out to give your skin time to absorb the product, otherwise you’ll sweat it right off. Be aware that even on cloudy or overcast days, the sun does get through and you still need that protection to avoid getting any unwanted sun.
Find a buddy. Not only is working out with a friend more fun, it makes summer time exercise more safe. No matter how careful, hydrated and lightly clothed you are, the heat can make crazy things happen. Having someone with you gives another layer of security to working out at a dangerous time of year.
Listen to your body. You should always be doing this, but when summer time exercise puts your health at risk, it’s more important than ever. Stop working out, find some shade and replace electrolytes at the first sign of dizziness, faintness, exhaustion or nausea.
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