Beat the Heat: Tips to Exercise

in the Summer

By: David Lalli, D.O.

 

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The summer time offers you an opportunity to get out of the gym and exercise in the great outdoors. Here are a few tips to beat the heat and exercise safely in the summer:

 
  • Drink plenty of water. When working out in the summer, you will use up more water than normal to regulate body temperature. Always carry a bottle of water with you and take a couple of swigs from it throughout your workout.
  • Apply sunscreen even when the weather is cloudy. Using a sweat-proof sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 is recommended with reapplication very hour or two depending on intensity of your exercise and how much you sweat.
  • Plan your workout either early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid the hottest part of the day which is generally between 11:00 am and 4:00 pm.
  • Wear proper clothing. Skin-hugging restrictive clothing or clothes made of polyester are not a good choice for working out in the summer. Rather choose loose fitting clothes that are made of cotton blends or breathable synthetics that wick away sweat so you remain cool.
  • If walking or running is your favorite activity, find a trail or park with plenty of shade to protect you from the harmful rays of the sun. Choosing a convenient location that is near your home will make it easier for you to stick to your exercise plan during the summer.
  • Reduce caffeine intake. A cup of coffee before going for a run or exercising is a bad idea especially in the summer as caffeine is a diuretic and can increase your fluid loss.
  • Replenish electrolytes lost due to sweating. If your electrolyte levels are too low, you may suffer from muscle cramps and severe health complications. Sports drinks that contain electrolytes may be handy after an intense workout but also may contain a lot of added sugar. Try to go for healthier alternatives such as coconut water or all-natural fruit juices.

Following these simple steps will help protect you against dangerous risks such as heat stroke or dehydration while working out in the summer.