Summer Exercise Dos and Don’tsJuly 05, 2016
When the temperatures rise it’s easy to put off that run, bike ride, or game of tennis. Regular exercise is an important part of staying healthy, so don’t let the summer heat get you off your game. Below are some tips to keep you exercising all summer long from Thomas Wuerz, MD.
Do drink plenty of water
Heat-related illness such as heat exhaustion, heat cramps, or heat stroke can develop if you are not well hydrated. To improve your hydration level, drink enough fluids throughout the day-not just when you are exercising. If you are hydrated you will be better equipped to handle the heat, leading to a more effective workout.
Do wear appropriate attire
Wear clothing that is lightweight, light-colored and loose. Choose moisture wicking clothing that will permit sweat to pass through it without being absorbed, making you cooler. Light colored attire will help to deflect the sun. Wear sunscreen as well as a hat and sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun.
Do go for a swim
In addition to cooling you off, swimming is a great all-around activity that builds endurance, muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness. Another benefit is that the buoyancy of the water supports the body’s weight, which reduces stress on the joints. If you are considering swimming in open water, lakes, or ponds, make sure to only swim in safe areas that ideally are monitored by life guards.
Don’t exercise in the middle of the day
Avoid planning your outdoor workout for between 10 am – 3pm, which is the hottest part of the day. Instead, stick to morning or evening workouts.
Don’t expect to keep your normal pace
Go easy on yourself and realize you may not be able to do as much as you are used to, especially in very humid weather. Don’t try to push yourself – you may need to take breaks, slow your pace and may have to save hard efforts for cooler weather.
If you have any serious medical condition consult your primary care provider before engaging in strenuous activity.