The summer months are full of cookouts, vacations, yardwork, and beach days…but what happens when you want to take a break from the swimming pool and get in a workout? It’s very tempting (and enjoyable!) to lace up your sneakers and go for a run in the neighborhood or take on a game of one-on-one with your kids, but keeping an eye on the temperature is key – especially on days with extreme heat or humidity.
Getting overheated is a big concern in the summertime, particularly when there are more opportunities to get outside and be active. Here are some things to keep in mind while working out during the dog days of summer in order to stay safe – and to enjoy your activities to the fullest!
Wearing clothes that are loose fitting and light colored is key, and even more so if they are made out of material that is able to wick sweat away from your body. Cotton will hold in heat and will not evaporate moisture as quickly, so keep that in mind. A lightweight hat or headband can help keep your head cool, and a good pair of sunglasses will protect your eyes from harmful rays. And don’t forget to layer on the sunscreen before you head out the door!
Dehydration is prominent within the summer months, so it’s important to fuel properly both before, during, and after you exercise. The general rule of thumb is to consume half of your body weight in ounces, and that can be increased if you know you’re going to be participating in an intense workout in the heat. Taking a water bottle with you when you go outdoors is a great idea, and can help be a reminder to keep yourself hydrated.
Keep an eye on the time:
The sun shines brightest in the sky between 10am-2pm, if at all possible, try and schedule your workouts early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the hot summer heat.
Both children and elderly people are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses, since their bodies take longer to recover from being overheated and they don’t cool down as easily; these illnesses include heat exhaustion (clammy skin, rapid and weak pulse, dizziness, and excessive sweating are key symptoms) and heat stroke (hot skin, rapid and strong pulse, and dry skin are key symptoms). It is important to be aware of the signs of heat illness, and to treat it appropriately if needed.
Summer is a fabulous time to get outdoors, exercise, and enjoy the longer evenings and warmer weather…. just remember to be aware of how to keep yourself and your family safe from the heat, and you’ll have plenty of fun in the sun!