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Top 5 Tips For Exercising in the Heat of the Summer

May 21, 2008
Everyone wants to move outdoors during the summer months to exercise their hearts out. The winter months are over and the treadmill needs to resume its role as a coat hanger as the open road calls our tennis shoes. But, even though the weather is warm and the days are long, the ideal exercise day can turn into a nightmare if there are not precautions taken against the summer heat. Exercising in the heat of the summer means taking a few extra steps to prepare for your workout.

* Blocking the sun. The suns rays are known to case skin cancer and premature skin aging. A good sunscreen can block the sun's rays from harming the skin and is an essential addition to a summer outdoor workout. The sunscreen needs to be waterproof in order to stay put during those bouts of sweating and utilize a blocker for both UVA and UVB rays.

* Keeping hydrated. Hydration starts before you walk out that door to exercise. Drinking an entire bottle of water before running is good, but keeping hydrated throughout the day is even better. During your routine, you will burn off much of the water reserves every 15 minutes, so rehydrate soon and rehydrate often. Many people do not like to drink while they are exercising. This is not a healthy choice, water is the key to life and to a great workout in good health.

* Warming up and cooling down. The warm weather may make you feel as though you do not have to warm up and cool down. The muscles are not as warm as the skin is, that is for sure. You still need to warm up those muscles and cool them down after the workout. This will prevent muscle pulls, strains and pain after the workout.

* Keep clothing light. The lighter the clothing, the more the skin will be able to wick the sweat away. If the skin is covered tightly, the evaporation needed to cool the body will not happen. There are plenty of special clothing lines that help the body to stay cool during workouts and these are perfect for the summer months.

* Know when to stop. The heat can wreak havoc on the body. A workout can go south very quick if you do not recognize the signs of heat stroke. Heat stroke is a very real killer and needs to be watched out for carefully. Dizziness and extreme fatigue are often the top two signs of heat stroke. If you feel you are being effected by the sun, sit down in the shade and drink plenty of water.

Exercising outside in the summer if a fitness right of passage. There is something about the sound of sneakers on the open pavement that makes the dull winter blues fade away. When working out in the summer heat, take precautions to keep your workout safe and healthy. That way, your workouts can continue through the summer and you can make the most of the long days of warmth and clean air and sunshine.
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