By: Jen Johnson

Exercising Safely During Summer

Summer is an amazing time to get outside and exercise, it’s one of my favorite times of year because it affords me the opportunity to enjoy so many fun activities. Whether you are swimming, cycling or running the summer heat can be problematic, especially in areas with extreme heat and humidity, so it is important to stay safe.

When exercising, the increased intensity in muscle activity leads to the body’s temperature to rise. The body attempts to regulate it’s core temperature through sweat, the heightened weather temperatures combined with intense exercise overwhelms the body’s ability to cool itself. You may not be running the Marathon des Sables but regardless of the activity you undertake here’s some advice for exercising in the heat:

Time of Day

Avoid exercising during the daytime heat, between 10am to 3pm is typically the hottest part of the day. Early morning workouts are a great way to start your day and the cooler temperatures make exercising much more comfortable.

Loose Light Colored Clothing

Cotton clothing helps the evaporation of sweat and light colors will help reflect heat. Many sportswear brands sell clothing specially designed using material that is lightweight, breathable and will keep you cool.

Protect Yourself From The Sun

Use Sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun, even on cloudy days apply sunscreen to avoid getting burned. Wearing a hat and sunglasses will also help to shield you from the sun’s rays.

Hydrate Yourself

It’s vital to stay hydrated because when we sweat, our bodies lose not only water but electrolytes and salt also. If you do not consume enough water, you may suffer from light-headedness and nausea due to dehydration. Before beginning your workout, drink a glass of water. Carry a bottle of water or plan your activity so you can stop for water breaks. Take a drink every 15-20 minutes, even if you don’t feel thirsty. When you finish your workout, drink a few more glasses of water.

Listen to Your Body

Don’t adopt a no pain no gain approach, if you begin to feel dizzy, faint or nauseous – stop immediately. Do not ignore your body’s signals!

Avoid Alcohol Before or After Your Workout

Alcohol is a diuretic and causes you to lose fluids so avoid consuming alcohol directly before or after your workout.

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