Summer Workout Tips

Many of us are experiencing record heat this summer, from New York to London. The heat can zap your energy, make you feel like a wilted flower, and cause you to curtail your usual walk or run. But before you give in to the heat, and collapse in front of a fan at home, remember that your body still needs regular exercise to burn all those summer BBQ calories. Use the heat as an opportunity to find a safe and fun alternative to your usual fitness routine and keep yourself motivated by logging your fitness into a mobile or online app like Everyday Health’s My Calorie Counter to track progress.

Move Indoors

If you already belong to an air-conditioned gym, there are no excuses for skipping your workout! If you don’t, you may want to try a new activity at a local fitness studio. Alternatively, this could be the day to pull out that exercise DVD you bought but never used, or to do your own dance workout at home. Put on your very favorite, upbeat music. Let the music move every part of you from your toes to the top of your head. Dance for 20-30 minutes, then cool down with some easy stretches and a glass of water.

Take It Outdoors

If you prefer the outdoors, consider heading to your local community pool or lake for a swim. If you don’t swim, consider bike riding or rollerblading. Choose a path that is at least part shade, if possible.

Don’t forget the following safety precautions whenever exercising in hot weather:

• Avoid the hottest times of the day by taking your run or walk early in the morning or in the evening after it has cooled off.
• Wear light-weight, light-colored clothing. Consider sun-protective clothing, which has been treated to act as a sunscreen for your whole body and is designed to vent excess body heat.
• Wear a hat, sunglasses, and plenty of sunscreen that protects from both UVA and UVB rays. Reapply several times during your hours of exposure.
‚Ä¢ Start with one or two glasses of water before you leave home. Carry water with you and drink some every 30 minutes, even if you don’t feel thirsty. When you get back home, drink several more glasses of water.
• If you are exercising more than an hour or you sweat profusely, replace your electrolytes with a sports drink that is made for that purpose.
‚Ä¢ If you experience any signs of heat-related illness–such as heavy sweating, dizziness, faintness, or nausea– stop immediately, get out of the heat, and cool down. If you have vomited or feel worse, seek medical attention.
• Humidity can make it harder for your body to lose heat through sweating, so always consider the heat index, not just the temperature. When the heat index is 90 degrees F. (32 C.) or above, you should stop all outdoor exercise.
• If you run with your dog, keep in mind that they can suffer from the heat, too. Pavements can be too hot for their unshod paws, so choose paths that have dirt or grass surfaces. Provide frequent shade and water breaks.

The summer is far from over, so create some alternatives to your usual exercise routine now. By planning wisely, you can stay motivated and find activities that will help maintain your fitness during these hot, summer days.