4 Tips to Exercise Safely on Hot Summer Days - Mercy Medical Center

4 Tips to Exercise Safely on Hot Summer Days

Posted on: July 17, 2013

I love to see so many people outdoors during summer in Ohio. It’s the perfect time to take advantage of the sunshine and longer days to get in some extra workout time, but exercising wisely is critical to your health and safety.

When It’s Hot, Exercise Early or Late

As the weather warms, your body needs to adjust to the temperature change. Try exercising during the coolest part of the day, such as early morning or later in the evening if you plan to exercise outside.

If possible, go out before 7 a.m. or after 6 p.m. during the cooler hours. If that isn’t possible, take advantage of a cool indoor exercise center.

Stay Hydrated as Temps Climb

When it comes to summer exercise, a major concern is proper hydration. Sweating weight off is not the way to lose a few pounds, but it is a way to get dehydrated. Your goal should be to maintain good hydration. The best way to do this is to start your activity well hydrated by drinking fluids throughout the day and within at least an hour of your planned activity.

To stay hydrated during your activity, you will need to replace sweat losses by drinking during the activity. A good guideline is fluid intake about every 15 minutes during your workout. Also don’t forget to rehydrate after the activity. Simple water will do the trick for low-to-moderate activities lasting 60 minutes or less. If you are doing high intensity activities lasting more than 60 minutes, you will want to use a fluid-replacement beverage designed to replace carbohydrates and electrolytes.

Eating watery foods like fruits and vegetables is an easy way to replace both carbohydrates and electrolytes.One of my favorite ways to recharge and rehydrate after a run is with a homemade fruit smoothie. I start with a blend of my favorite berries, add some low fat Greek yogurt, a little fruit juice and plenty of ice to make a delicious post-exercise beverage that is loaded with all the good stuff like vitamin C, potassium and potent antioxidants.

Recognize When It’s Too Hot to Exercise

When the temperature hits the 90s, cut the pace or the distance back, especially when running. Do not try to do the same pace you do on cooler days.

Wear the Proper Weight Clothing for a Summer Workout

Lightweight, light-colored fabrics that wick away sweat are best for exercising in the heat. Wear an airy hat with a brim that protects your head and face but allows air to flow through. Don’t forget to protect the eyes with some lightweight sunglasses and keep your skin safe by applying sunscreen designed for sports and sweating.

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