19 Jul Staying active in hot summer months!
Exercising outside during the summer months can be difficult as the temperature rises. When the sun is shining brightly, even sun-seeking exercisers can feel the heat! Here are my top tips to help you stay active comfortably in the hot months of Summer:
Be selective with the exercises you do.
Choose an activity that is practical for the temperature outside. Swimming, water aerobics, and other pool activities, as well as walking in the shallow end of the pool, can keep you active while keeping you cool. Indoor workout programs/classes and gyms are an option as well to keep cool while your body temperatures increase.
Exercise early or late in the day.
Working out in the morning or evening allows you to avoid the warmest time of the day, which is usually between 10am- 2 p.m. It’s also worth noting that your chances of being sunburned are most around noon, when the sun is at its brightest, but always remember to wear sunscreen or sun protection regardless of the time of the day, even in overcast conditions.
On a hot day, it’s important to stay hydrated! When working out for lengthy periods of time, especially in the heat, an electrolyte-replacing beverage like FITTEAM HYDRATE are essential because they include potassium and electrolytes that can rehydrate and replenish your body. Checking the color of your urine is a useful technique to see if you’re hydrating appropriately. You’re well hydrated if it’s pale yellow (think a light lemonade). Drink extra if it’s darker (approaching the color of apple juice). Remember: if you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated!
Wear the right clothes.
- Dark colors tend to absorb heat, so choose light colors. Clothing that is heavy and tight-fitting can also contribute to higher body heat temperatures, so choose loose clothing and air will be able to travel more freely over your skin, allowing you to stay cool.
- Know when to ease up!
- Know when to take it easy, especially if you’re visiting a hot and humid area you’re unfamiliar with. It’s likely that you won’t be able to exercise at the same intensity as you usually do and that’s totally fine. If you regularly run, try walking or jogging instead, gradually increase the pace and duration of your workout as your body adjusts to the heat.
- Be conscious of sunblock use
- Even if the labels advertise sweat proof and waterproof promises that are hours longer, reapply every two hours. Sunburn accelerates the aging of your skin and raises your chances of developing skin cancer. Another smart approach to reduce sun exposure is by wearing a wide-brimmed hat.
Stay in the shade.
If possible, stay in the shade when you’re working out.
Know your limits.
Pay attention to your body and if you begin to feel dizzy, nauseous, or tired, give yourself a break. Taking some time off for rest is better than overdoing your workout and getting sick or injured and having to stop exercising altogether.
Know the signs of a heat stroke.
Heat stroke is a serious threat that can be fatal. Symptoms include:
- High body temperature (104 F or 40 C or higher)
- ABSENCE OF SWEATING with hot, flushed, or red/dry skin
- Rapid pulse
- Difficulty breathing
- Strange behavior
Seek medical attention immediately if you suspect you are suffering from heat stroke.
Remember, stay mindful when it comes to exercising in the hot summer months, it’s ok to do less than usual or to adapt your exercise routine to ensure a happy, healthy summer!
Maryann Walsh, MFN, RD, CDE
Registered Dietitian/ Nutrition Communications Specialist