In the summer months, temperatures can soar. When they do, it’s important not to overdo exercise and overheat. This is especially true if you are 65 years or older, are overweight, or have a condition like poor circulation or heart disease.
No sweat! With some planning, you can enjoy exercising outside and do it safely. Here’s how.
Staying hydrated is important. But don’t wait to have water until you feel thirsty. Before you even leave home, start drinking—and drink plenty during your workout, too. If you are taking medicine or have a health issue, talk with your healthcare provider about the best way to keep yourself hydrated. They may advise you to skip sports drinks or limit how much water you have.
Factor in the Weather
More intense activities, such as jogging, are best done during cooler hours of the day. If the temperature or heat index will be 80 degrees or higher, choose the type and length of the activity you do with extra care. If needed, plan something less taxing, like taking an easy walk in the shade.
Dress for Success
When choosing workout clothes, think lightweight and light-colored. Wear moisture wicking clothes if you can. You’ll also want UV-blocking sunglasses and a visor, hat, or helmet. About a half hour before you head out, apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher). Follow package directions for when to reapply.
Know When to Chill
Don’t push yourself too hard. Start out at a slow pace and gradually increase it. Take a break in a cool place if you feel dizzy, have trouble breathing, or can feel your heart beating too hard. When it’s especially hot and humid, do an activity in air-conditioned comfort at a recreation or fitness center instead of outdoors. You could also go for a walk in a shopping mall. Talk with your healthcare provider for help choosing activities that are right for you.