Summer Fitness Safety

Summer is a great time to bring your workout outdoors. The extra hours of sunlight and warm weather are a wonderful opportunity to engage in all your favorite outdoor activities. But working out in the heat requires that you take certain precautions to avoid overheating and dehydration. The following tips can help you stay safe and healthy during summer workouts:

Drink up. Staying hydrated is key when exercising in the summer. Your body can lose up to a quart of water an hour exercising in the heat, so drink water before, during and after your workout.

Avoid exercising during “peak” hours. Heat, humidity, smog levels and pollution levels are at their highest between 10 a.m. and 4p.m. Additionally, very humid weather interferes with perspiration’s ability to cool your body. Either work out indoors during these hours, or try exercising in the morning or evening.

Go for a dip. Swimming is great exercise, and will help keep you cool during hot weather. Don’t worry if you’re not a strong swimmer, you can still do the backstroke, doggie paddle, or even run laps in the pool (the water adds resistance for an added bonus).

Slather on the sunscreen. Don’t forget to take care of your skin when exercising outdoors. Apply sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15 half an hour before your workout.

Dress appropriately. Wear lightweight, loose fitting clothing to allow more air to circulate over your body and promote sweat evaporation. Avoid darker colored clothing, which absorbs heat; light colored clothing reflects sunlight. Opt for synthetic fabrics with a meshlike weave, which will help draw moisture and sweat away from the skin.

Start out slow. It takes your body 1-2 weeks to adapt to hotter weather, so take it easy at first and slowly increase the length and intensity of your workouts.

Be aware of the signs of heat stroke. Heat stroke occurs when the body loses the ability to regulate its own temperature and get rid of excess heat. Symptoms, which appear quickly, include: very hot and dry skin, nausea, dizziness, confusion, and unconsciousness. A person affected by heat stroke should be moved to a cool area, or set in a cool bath to lower body temperature. Medical attention should be sought immediately, as heat stroke can be fatal.



Please Note: The material on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. Always consult your physician before beginning any diet or exercise program.

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