Let's Exercise: Tips to Combat the Summer Heat

Let's Exercise: Tips to Combat the Summer Heat

Many people look forward to summer each year, ready to shake off the dark and cold of winter and take their exercise routine outdoors. Warmer weather and longer stretches of daylight make it ideal for walking, jogging, cycling, gardening, and other outdoor activities.  As we move into July and August, however, the Georgia heat and humidity can get the best of us. And sometimes all we want to do is stay inside where it is cool. While it is important to use caution, you don’t have to let the heat of summer completely melt your exercise plans. Follow these tips for exercising outdoors in the summer:

Stay Hydrated:  Drink plenty of fluid before, during, and after exercise to avoid dehydration. Before you go outside, drink 1-2 glasses of water, then drink at least six ounces every 15-20 minutes during the activity, followed by a few more glasses of water afterward. Sports drinks such as Gatorade® or Powerade® are typically not needed unless your workout session lasts 90 minutes or more.

Slow it Down:  Lower the intensity of your workout, especially the first few times you are exposed to higher temperatures.

Dress Properly:  Wear loose, breathable clothing that wicks sweat away from the body. Additionally, sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses are helpful to protect you from the sun’s rays.

Change your Schedule:  Move your exercise sessions to the early morning or evening to avoid the heat of mid-day.

Listen to your Body:  Regardless of what the weatherperson says, you know better than anyone how you typically feel during exercise.

Take the Heat Index into Account:  Refer to the heat index before participating in an outdoor activity.