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Be sure to take precautions when doing summer workouts

By Dr. Scott Kaple • Jul 9, 2018 at 9:00 AM

Exercise is important and the summer is a good time to get outside to enjoy a variety of activities including bicycling, walking, running and swimming.

But as we begin to experience the higher summer temperatures, it’s important to take some precautions to make sure you remain safe and healthy during your summer activities.

Here are some summer safety tips to try.

 

Ways to still keep moving

You might not be able to get in an intense workout on a 90-degree day, but maybe you can modify it if the heat is too much. Shorten your workouts or split them up by taking breaks from the heat. Be sure to avoid overheating by lowering your intensity and working out in intervals. It’s okay to take breaks, too.

Even activities that aren’t considered exercise burn calories. Mowing the lawn, gardening and a stroll around the neighborhood all keep you moving and physically active.

 

Avoid the black top

On especially hot days, avoid asphalt or concrete because it absorbs heat and reflects the sun’s rays. This can make you feel even hotter. If you live near water, work out nearby as it tends to be cooler.

 

Stay hydrated

The higher temperatures make it extremely important to stop for water breaks throughout your workout. Staying hydrated can prevent you from common symptoms of exercising in the heat, such as dizziness, cramps and headaches Proper hydration is one of the most important aspects of healthy physical activity. Remember to replace fluids during exercise to stay hydrated, rather than wait until the end of the activity. Drink water instead of pouring it over your head. Drinking is the only way to rehydrate and cool your body from the inside out. Drink 4 to 8 ounces of water every 15 to 20 minutes.

 

Protect your skin

Exercising in the sun raises your risk of sunburn, which is dangerous to your skin and can cause skin cancer. Be sure to use sunscreen when exercising outside, particularly during the peak hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and stay in the shade whenever possible.

 

Dress in light colors

We all know black attracts the sun, so lighten up your workout wardrobe and opt for some fun, fluorescent or pastel colors instead. Choose lightweight, breathable pieces that keep the moisture away from your skin.

Don’t let the heat stop you from taking care of your health, but remember to plan accordingly and use these tips to exercise safely during the summer. For more health and wellness tips, be sure to subscribe to the Fisher-Titus Healthy Living Blog at fishertitus.org/health.

 

Scott Kaple, DO, FAAFP is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. He is a member of the Fisher-Titus medical staff and practices at Norwalk Primary Care, 280 Benedict Ave., Medical Park 4, Suite A.

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