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Keeping Your Hot-Weather Workouts Safe

How to handle working out in the great outdoors when the temperature is high.

As the temperature outside begins to rise, so does your desire to get out of the gym and do a little exercising on the outside. But if you’re not careful, you could wind up suffering all sorts of heat-related health issues.

So what do you need to watch out for when exercising outside in the heat, and what can you do to avoid these issues? Read on to find out.

Potential Problems

A hard workout in the heat is filled with potential dangers. The most likely to occur is dehydration. While headache and exhaustion may seem harmless dangers to suffer, severe dehydration can have more serious consequences. You may become dizzy and be unable to maintain your balance, which puts you at risk for all sorts of injury.

But dehydration isn’t the only danger of hot-weather working out. You can wind up with heat exhaustion or heat stroke. With heat exhaustion, you feel weak, suffer muscle cramps, and your internal temperature rises. When your body temperature rises above 104 degrees Fahrenheit, your body can’t produce any more sweat, or you lose consciousness, it’s probably a heat stroke. Since heat strokes are responsible for hundreds of deaths each year, you don’t want to push your body to this point. Fortunately, avoiding heat stroke and other heat-induced issues isn’t too difficult if you’re careful.

Keeping Cool

Plan to do some outdoor exercising in the midst of the summer? Then you’ll need to take some steps to keep your body from getting too hot for its own good. The most obvious way to avoid heated health issues is to stay hydrated. But what kind of hydration is best in the simmering heat of mid-summer? Nearly any kind of fluid will help, but stay away from alcohol. Instead, go for the most plentiful drink on planet Earth: water. For extreme conditions or in the event you’ll be pushing yourself for more than 30 minutes in an extremely hot environment, go with a sports drink that provides electrolytes you lose during your workout.

You can also avoid overheating by working out when the sun is not directly overhead. This means exercising either in the early hours of the morning or after the sun has started going down in the evening. Additionally, you can keep your body from suffering heat-related problems by wearing loose-fitting clothes that absorb your sweat. As a final tip, your outdoor routine should be called off for the day if you feel any symptoms of a heat stroke or heat exhaustion coming on. In the event you begin feeling weak, tired, or have other heat-related symptoms, get inside and drink up. Doing this can help you prevent your minor symptoms from turning into something major.

Feel the Burn

It’s normal to feel some burn in your muscles after a hard workout. In fact, if you never feel any burn, you may not be pushing yourself hard enough during your routine. However, you never want to feel sunburn before, during, or after you get done working out.

How can you avoid suffering burns on your skin during your summertime outdoor exercise? Remember these tips to avoid sunburn while exercising outdoors or simply enjoying a beautiful day outside.

Wear Sunscreen. It may seem like a hassle to apply sunscreen every day, but it is your best line of defense against sunburn. Give your entire body a nice even coat and reapply every couple hours. Even if the sunscreen is labeled as being waterproof, its protecting ability gradually fades as you’re outside.

Cover Up. Of course, you shouldn’t wear long-sleeve shirts and pants while exercising, but you should wear a hat and sunglasses. They may seem like small accessories, but they provide massive coverage from sunburn.

Time It Right. The sun is at its most dangerous from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Give your skin the upper hand against sunburn by avoiding outdoor exercises during these hours.

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