Warm, summer days are finally here and it’s the perfect time to go outside and have fun. Whether you’re running, hiking, or swimming everything is more fun outside! But the summer heat and extreme humidity can also become a problem if you’re not careful. Exercising in hot weather puts added stress on your body and that can lead to serious heat-related illness. Here are some helpful tips to stay hydrated and beat the heat this summer:
- Stay Hydrated- Drink a couple glasses of water prior to going out and exercising and be sure to carry a bottle of water on you during your workout. Drink every ten to fifteen minutes even if you’re not thirsty to combat the increased fluid your body is losing. This is especially important when the humidity is high because your sweat sticks to your skin as opposed to evaporating which can increase your body temperature even higher.
- Wear Light-Colored Clothing- Don’t wear dark colors as they absorb the heat from the sun making you more susceptible to heat-related illness. Keep it loose and keep it light for increased air circulation.
- Have Snacks Available-Bring snacks along like fruit or vegetables. Stay away from dry snacks that require your body to add water, like energy bars or crackers.
- Take It Easy- It’s important to accept the fact that you won’t be able to perform at the level you normally would due to the extreme heat. Adapt to the heat and slowly increase the intensity and length of your workout.
- Listen to Your Body- If you start to feel any weakness, light-headedness, dizziness, or nausea, it’s important to go inside and call it a day. Don’t push yourself to the point of heat exhaustion or even a heat stroke.
- Avoid Hottest Part of the Day- Try to steer clear of the hottest part of the day, between 10am-3pm. It’s advised to either rise early or after the sun sets to minimize your risk for heat-related illnesses.
- Protect Yourself- Make sure to apply sunscreen on 30 minutes prior to going out for your workout. Look for sunscreen that offers protection of at least 15 SPF, provides protection from UVA rays, and are sweat/water-resistant.
Heat-related illnesses can be prevented and your workouts don’t have to suffer if you take these basic precautions. Ultimately, your body is designed to adapt to the heat but these tips can give your workout an added advantage.