Summer Exercise: Tips to Stay Cool

Photo Credit: Bibikoff CC-BY-2.0

North America is in the midst of a heat wave! Temperatures across much of the USA have topped 100 degrees Fahrenheit for several days. How can you stay cool and exercise outdoors? When the weather is sweltering, you have to take extra precautions to avoid dehydration and overheating. Your body sweats to help keep you cool, but when the temperature and humidity are high, your sweat will not evaporate. This can lead to high body temperature and even heat illnesses. Heat-related illness can be life-threatening, so you must take steps to stay cool when exercising outdoors on hot, humid days when the temperature is 80 degrees or above. 
Exercise in the early morning or evening hours. The temperature will soar once the sun is shining brightly in the sky and won’t drop until after sunset. Midday is the hottest time of the day, so avoid strenuous activity outdoors during this time. 
Drink plenty of water! During hot weather, drink at least 2 eight ounce glasses of water every hour. Consider drinking a sports drink with added minerals and electrolytes to replace salts and minerals lost  from sweating. Wear loose-fitting clothes so that your skin can “breathe” and wear a hat with a brim to protect your face from the sun. Be sure to use sunscreen to protect exposed skin. 
Consider working out indoors. If you normally run outdoors for 60 minutes, ride a stationary bicycle or jog on a treadmill indoors instead of running outdoors. Go swimming at an indoor pool for 30 minutes instead of running to get a great full body aerobic workout. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke can be deadly. Take some precautions and stay hydrated to avoid heat-related illness. 

One Response to Summer Exercise: Tips to Stay Cool

  1. I'm currently training for a marathon. 5AM is the coolest time of day here and it still is over 80 degrees. I'm thinking I'll get a gym membership for a few months till we get past the heat of the summer.

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