Hot, humid conditions test the limits of the most dedicated athletes. So, it’s no surprise that summer weather can be a challenge for those of us with even modest exercise goals. Here’s how to stay on track while avoiding heat-related problems.
Make a (flexible) plan
Look at the local forecast. Use safety alerts and the heat index to guide what you will do and when. When the heat index reaches 80 degrees, use extra caution deciding what to do, where, and for how long. Keep in mind that mornings and evenings are the coolest parts of the day. Noon to 3 p.m. is the hottest.
Choose activities wisely
Target cooler times for a run, power walk, or basketball game. For warmer days, make less taxing plans such as strolling a farmer’s market or riding your bike on a shaded path. Whateveryou decide, allow your body time to get used to the weather. Start slowly, then build up your pace. If your heart is pounding, you can’t catch your breath, or you feel lightheaded, stop right away. Move to a cooler area and rest.
Drink lots of water throughout the day, regardless of your activity level. Drink continuously, not just when you feel thirsty. Avoid alcohol or drinks high in sugar and very cold beverages.
Wear the right gear
How you dress can help you enjoy a workout and keep you cool. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing made of moisture-wicking fabric. Apply a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher 30 minutes before going outside and continue to reapply according to package directions.