Summer may be halfway over, but some of the hottest days are still ahead of us.
And that means safety is a concern, especially for those of us who pack in a bit of exercise (which, by the way, is a great way to up your calorie budget and make room for a few snacks throughout the day).
That’s because exercising in the heat leads to increased sweating, causing our bodies to lose water, electrolytes and salt at a more rapid pace. If not managed properly, that can lead to some serious issues, like dehydration, nausea, dizziness and, in extreme cases, kidney failure or death.
Luckily, there’s several things we can do to enjoy the great outdoors and all the activities it has to offer, even during the dog days of summer.
Typically the day is hottest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Whether you’re a morning person or night person, leverage your body’s natural energy cycle and beat the heat by exercising during the lower-temperature hours.
Speaking of going on a walk or light jog, try to find a gravel or dirt trail rather than the pavement or concrete, which absorb heat and radiate the sun. If you’re really smart (and we’re betting you are), you’ll head to a trail that’s shaded, too.
No matter what time of day it is, during the summer it’s important to always keep water with you, or, at the very least, be well aware of where public water fountains are along your route.
Protecting your head and face is a must. The last thing you want is sunburnt skin or pain in your eyes. Some people say that it will actually boost your performance, too.
Done in small doses, exercising out in the heat isn’t all that bad. And by doing something outside the “norm” of your day, you can burn a few extra calories.
Yes, you read that right. Hopping in a cold shower or bath right before exercising will drop your internal temp and make exercising in the sun more bearable and may even help you perform better.
Loose-fitting, bright-colored clothing is your friend. You want stuff that’s breathable to keep your body loose, and the brighter the color, the less it absorbs heat.
The hotter your body temperature is, the more flexible it is, meaning summer is about as perfect as it gets for learning how to do yoga. Plus, if you really just can’t stand the heat, this is the kind of thing that can definitely be done indoors.
It cannot be stressed enough -- your body knows its limitations better than your brain does, so listen to it. If at any time you start to feel dizzy, nauseated, light-headed or anything of that sort, stop immediately. It’s better to rest and allow your body to replenish itself rather than to potentially end up in a very dangerous situation.
Author: Caitlin Hendee
Diet-to-Go Community Manager
Caitlin is the Diet-to-Go community manager and an avid runner. She is passionate about engaging with others online and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. She believes moderation is key, and people will have the most weight loss success if they engage in common-sense healthy eating and fitness.