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Tips For Maintaining Fitness During Summer Exercise

Summer presents an excellent opportunity for outdoor workouts. You won’t have to concern yourself with freezing temperatures hindering your progress, or slipping and sliding on icy paths. With longer daylight hours, you have more flexibility to fit in your exercise routine before or after work, without having to do so in darkness.

However, you’ll need to cope with occasional extreme heat. Here are five suggestions to ensure your safety during summer exercise.

1. Choose The Right Attire

One of the advantages of summer workouts is that you don’t have to layer up like in winter. While you might need a light jacket or sweatshirt for early morning runs or walks, you won’t have to worry about frostbite.

Opt for clothing that helps you stay cool and protected from the sun. Look for fabrics with moisture-wicking properties that allow sweat to evaporate for better cooling. Investing a bit more in workout-specific attire is worth it for sun protection. Regular street clothes may only have a UV protection factor of 5, while most athletic wear rates at 50 UPF.

2. Shield Your Skin

While your exercise clothes may cover most of your body, exposed skin still needs protection. Choosing the right sunscreen is crucial. Do you prefer a chemical or mineral formula? Some individuals worry about potential health effects from chemical sunscreens, especially if they can cause stinging and irritation if they get into your eyes due to sweat. Mineral sunscreens provide immediate protection compared to chemical alternatives, which take time to absorb into the skin.

Make sure to apply sunscreen to all exposed areas, including your feet during outdoor yoga sessions. Reapply every two hours, more frequently if you’re sweating a lot during intense workouts.

3. Keep Yourself Hydrated

Dehydration can significantly impact your performance and health, and it can even be life-threatening. You may feel thirsty before dehydration sets in, but it’s easy to underestimate how dehydrated you become in the summer heat.

It’s challenging to determine your precise fluid needs, as they depend on various factors like weight, heart rate, temperature, and intensity of exercise. As a general guideline, aim to drink seven to ten ounces of water every 10 to 20 minutes of exercise.

Before heading out, make sure to hydrate and carry fluids if you’ll be active for more than 15 minutes. There are various accessories like bike mounts and belts to make carrying water more convenient while keeping your hands free.

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4. Time Your Workouts Appropriately

If you normally exercise in the evening, you might need to adjust your routine during summer as the heat often lingers well into the night. The coolest hours are usually just after sunrise, allowing you to squeeze in your workout before work because of the early sunrise.

If possible, aim to exercise during the cooler hours, preferably in the morning. For post-work workouts, consider waiting until after sunset. If you’re uncomfortable exercising alone in the dark, consider enlisting a workout buddy for added safety and motivation.

5. Recognize Heat-Related Illness Signs

The primary risk of summer exercise is heat-related illnesses. It’s crucial to identify the signs and take immediate action to prevent any long-term harm:

  • Heat rash – Itchy, raised red bumps caused by sweat trapped in your skin glands. It usually resolves on its own, but seek medical attention if it persists or worsens.
  • Heat cramps – Occur due to electrolyte loss through sweating. Stay hydrated and rest, opting for electrolyte-rich drinks like Gatorade.
  • Heat exhaustion – Signs include heavy sweating, muscle cramps, headache, nausea, dizziness, and an elevated heart rate. If experiencing these symptoms, stop immediately, move to a shaded area, cool down, and hydrate. Seek medical help if symptoms persist.
  • Heat stroke – A medical emergency with symptoms like dizziness, loss of consciousness, and cessation of sweating. Move to a cool place and seek immediate medical assistance.

Exercise Safely During Summer

Summer is an ideal season for outdoor workouts, but you must manage the heat effectively.

By following these tips, you can exercise safely during the summer, achieving your fitness goals while staying comfortable and safe.

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