It’s getting hot out there ... and while rising temperatures can sometimes melt your motivation to exercise, summertime can be a great opportunity to find new, creative ways to stay active while also staying safe in hot weather. Physical activity at temperatures above 85°F noticeably puts an extra strain on your body and heart. That’s why you sweat more and breathe heavier when exercising in the summer! But there is no need for concern. Here are some quick tips for staying cool — and safe — when exercising in the heat.
Dress for the weather.
You don’t need fancy gear to get a good workout, but the clothes you wear do make a difference in keeping you cool. Skip cotton and look for lightweight fabrics that wick moisture away from your skin. Wear a hat made from a breathable material, or at least a visor to keep the sun off of your face while not trapping heat inside a ball cap. Consider a portable, battery-powered fan that can be attached to the brim of your visor or hung around your neck.
Especially during this pandemic time, summer is a great time to explore your local trails and parks. Shady nature walks, bike paths, and trails will be cooler, giving you more energy and protection from the sun. And, you should actually enjoy those summer showers! Let nature’s shower cool you down and feel like a kid again playing in the rain.
Scale back a bit.
Hot weather is not the time to begin training for a race. If you’re a beginner, consider several short (15-30 minute) bouts of outdoor exercise, and strive for consistency over intensity. Just keep getting out there to do something!
Drink water all day long.
Keep your water bottle filled all day and sip as you work, and then drink between 8 to 12 ounces every 20 minutes when exercising. Liven up your water with lemon, lime, or other fruit juices for flavor and a mild electrolyte boost!The benefits of outdoor exercise reach far beyond your heart, muscles, and bones. Being in nature is good for your mind and spirit, too! Find a shady place, put on your hat and sunscreen, grab your water bottle, and stay active this summer!
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– Heather Fuselier CHWC, CFP, TTS
Health Advisor | Email Heather