Don't Sweat It

Your guide to exercising safely in the summer

Running Heat

Exercise is essential to a healthy life, but what about when Mother Nature turns up the heat? In extreme conditions, such as high heat and humidity, exercise may actually do more harm than good. Heatstroke, dehydration, and worse are all possibilities when you overdo it in the heat. If done wisely, however, you can survive the summer while continuing to exercise. Here are some tips to make your routine summer-friendly.

Switch it up: Maybe you’re used to jogging for your cardio, but jogging might not be the wisest option when temperatures rise. Try a cardio workout indoors—either at a gym or at home with some workout tapes or online classes—and keep your heart pumping while keeping the rest of you safe from the heat.

Water, water, everywhere: Swim in it, drink it, and then drink more. Water is so important for keeping dehydration at bay. Drinking one to two times your normal amount of water during summer workouts will save you literal and figurative headaches. Additionally, swimming is a great way to stay cool and stay active in the summer.

Time change: Consider swapping your noon walk for an after work or early morning stroll. Staying inside during peak heat will help you avoid heat-related conditions.

Cover up: Dehydration and heatstroke are unpleasant, and so is sunburn. When you are exercising outdoors, be sure to be protected. Your regular SPF may need a boost. Try sports sunscreen in addition to covering yourself with light clothing and a broad-brimmed hat.

Refuel: The effects of working out in the heat may not be immediately evident. However you’re feeling after a summer workout, be sure to refuel and rehydrate with water, chocolate milk, and hydration-rich fruits. You may also wish to add some salty snacks to your recovery nibbles; the salt will help your body return to normal hydration levels.

If you were looking for a reason to take it easy this summer, we are sorry to report that you won’t be able to use the heat as an excuse for staying on the couch. We hope you’ll be smart and continue to exercise using these helpful tips for staying safe this summer.