Motivating yourself to workout isn’t always the easiest task; coupled with intense summer heat for the majority of the day, it can be doubly daunting. Regardless, that daily exercise is crucial to your health and well-being. It doesn’t always have to be painful however, so exercise smart when it’s hot out by using these tips.
Find Shade: Exercising in shaded areas, such as parks, can make a world of difference. Temperatures can be dramatically cooler in the shade, not to mention you’re avoiding the majority of harmful UV rays.
Dress for the Occasion: Obviously, wearing long sleeves and pants isn’t the best idea when exercising in the heat. Avoid darker colored garments, and, if possible, purchase exercise clothes specially designed for high temperatures and UVA/UVB protection.
Morning or Evening: Try to avoid exercise during peak periods of heat (~11-4 pm) by working out early in the morning, or late in the evening, when temperatures drop. If you do decide to workout midday, ensure you stay properly hydrated.
Utilize Water: One of, if not the best type of summer exercise is swimming. Swimming is low impact, and works out the whole body. It also helps maintain a lower temperature during peak periods of physical activity. If you do not have a pool, head for the nearest beach, lake, or river, provided it is safe for public usage.
Cool off Efficiently: A spray bottle works great for targeting the hot spots on your body, accelerating evaporation (the body’s most efficient cooling mechanism). Spray your neck, underarms, back, and head with cool water. Apply an ice pack to the same areas to further accelerate cooling down.
Personally, summer is my favorite time of year to work out. The sun lends a certain vivacity to my exercise routine that is not usually felt during those winter workouts. Remember to go slow, listen to your body, and always be prepared.
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