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Tips for Working Out During the Hottest Days of the Year

By Brian Acton

In many ways, the great outdoors is the perfect gym: it’s free, virtually unlimited, and offers better scenery than your neighborhood fitness center. But if you prefer to exercise outside, you may face a challenge when temperatures heat up. Hot weather can make outdoor workouts uncomfortable and even dangerous, as the heat puts extra strain on your body and can cause dehydration, overheating, and even serious injuries like heatstroke. It’s important to exercise correctly during the hottest days of the year. Here are eight tips for working out in the heat (or avoiding it altogether). 1. Choose the Right Time of Day The hottest times of day generally range from late morning to late afternoon. You should try to avoid exercising during this time frame, as your body could be quickly overwhelmed by the intense heat. Try to work out in the early morning or late evening, when temperatures are cooler. 2. Stay Hydrated High temperatures will make you sweat more intensely, so you’ll want to make sure you’re properly hydrated. You should consume plenty of water leading up to exercise and make sure to take a drink at least every ten to 20 minutes during your workout. 3. Find the Shade Work out in shady areas if possible. Shaded pathways or trails will lessen the effect of the sun. 4. Wear the Right Gear You should wear workout gear that is loose-fitting, light in color and lightweight. Try to find clothes that wick away sweat and encourage evaporation. Avoid dark-colored, thick cotton clothing, as it absorbs heat and can trap moisture against your skin, raising your body temperature. To prevent sunburn, you may even want to wear a ventilated hat and some lightweight sunglasses. 5. Don’t Overdo It You may want to cut back on the intensity of your workout and avoid shooting for personal records on hot days. You can reduce the intensity, speed, or duration of your workout to make up for the rise in temperature. If you can, reserve tougher workouts for indoors. 6. Hit the Pool If you have access to a pool, now is the best time to take advantage. While you should still make sure to stay hydrated and avoid overexertion, swimming is great for hot weather because water naturally cools your body. Don’t forget the sunscreen! 7. Join a Gym If you have a local gym with a monthly membership plan, it might be worth it to sign up for the hotter months. You can cancel your membership and get back outdoors when it cools off. 8. Get an Exercise Machine If a gym membership isn’t your style, you could spring for some home workout equipment. Treadmills, rowing machines, weights and more can all help you stay in shape in the sweet comfort of air conditioning. Sources: https://greatist.com/fitness/hydration-during-exercise http://www.livestrong.com/article/522110-the-best-clothing-to-wear-to-prevent-heat-exhaustion/ http://www.mensfitness.com/training/endurance/the-heat-wave-workout-how-to-train-in-hot-weather http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/exercising-in-the-heat#1 http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/summer-workout-0
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