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Exercising Safely in the Summer Sun

By Donna Stark

If you need to shave off some extra calories because you've had one too many shaved ices this summer, daily workouts are a must. But exercising in the summer heat can be dangerous, especially if you aren't careful. From sunburn to dehydration to heatstroke, that hour or so of physical activity can go sideways quicker than you could ever imagine. You need to be safe, and to do that, you need to take the necessary precautions even if you think the temperature outside isn't that bad. Take a look at the following suggestions that can give your workouts a boost while also keeping your health a priority.

Stay Hydrated

In general, the key to working out safely during the hot summer months is to drink plenty of water. Make sure you are properly hydrated before, during, and after your workout because you will be sweating a lot more than usual.

Wear Sunblock

Wearing sunscreen is usually recommended throughout the year but it is especially important when you decide to exercise outdoors in the summer. Try to choose sunscreens that have an SPF of at least 30 and don't forget to reapply after your workout.

Select Weather-Appropriate Clothing

The best type of workout clothes to wear are those made from lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking material. And if you are saving your jogs for the evening temperatures, be sure to wear reflective clothing as well.

Start Slowly

If your body is used to the cool air in a gym, you may want to start slowly when you head outdoors. Give your body plenty of time to adjust to the warmer temperatures and bright sun, and if you feel faint or sick at any point during your workout, stop immediately and rest.

Know the Symptoms

Dehydration and heat stroke are life-threatening situations so it is very important to understand how they can occur and what symptoms to look out for. Keep the following in the back of your mind at all times and if they appear, stop what you are doing and seek help right away.

  • Hot skin
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Fainting
  • Muscle or abdominal cramps
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pale skin
  • Profuse sweating
  • Rapid heartbeat

Your Workouts Can Continue

The high temperatures of summer shouldn't keep you from exercising outdoors but it does mean that you will need to make some changes to your daily fitness routine. So go ahead and stay fit, but also pay attention to the weather, make the necessary modifications, and listen to your body in the process!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Bloomington, Minn.

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