Exercising in the summer is not only hot, humid, and uncomfortable, it can be downright dangerous. However, it is still possible to exercise safely in the sweltering summer heat and sun, you just have to have some knowledge about how to do so. This article outlines the 7 essential rules for working out in high temperatures, according to New York Fitness Coach Larry Greenfield.
Larry Greenfield is a certified fitness coach with almost 20 years of experience working with men and women over 40. His coaching plans are individualized, realistic, and focused on long-term benefits. To avoid the infamous yo-yo effect, he helps his clients gradually implement positive changes and develop healthy habits that are sustainable for their lifestyle.
Water is important for life, you already knew that. But, water becomes so incredibly vital for life when you are exercising out in the heat. So please don’t leave the house with at least one bottle of water for your outdoor workout. Plus, if you are planning to be out exercising for more than 60 minutes in the hot weather, you may want to consider bringing along a sports drink in addition to your water for extra electrolytes.
This goes for both the color and material. The last thing you want to do is to exercise in dark colors in the blazing heat. This will only make the sun beat down even harder on you. You’ll also want to wear clothes that are made of light, breathable material.
The time of day you choose to do your exercise is also a very important factor in exercising safely. Try not to be outside exercising between 10 am and 3 pm — the hottest time of the day. The best time to exercise outside is early in the morning or later in the evening when the sun is not at full capacity. Exercising during these times will ensure your safety.
As with any outdoor activity in the summer, don’t forget to lather on the sunscreen. This will prevent a painful burn and harmful sun damage. Skin cancer later in life is often avoidable by using sunscreen.
If possible, try to do your outdoor workout in a shaded area. If you are running, look for wooded trails or any other areas for an outdoor activity that will keep you out of the direct sunlight. It is dangerous to overheat yourself.
It is very important that you are aware of the symptoms of heatstroke so you can stop if you or someone you are with starts to experience them. Heatstroke symptoms include high body temperature, absence of sweating, rapid pulse, difficulty breathing, hallucinations, and confusion. It is crucial that if anyone starts experiencing these symptoms you immediately get them out of the heat and seek medical attention.
In order to stay safe while exercising outside in the summer, you need to know your limits and stick to them. Get a feel for what your body is comfortable within cooler seasons before attempting the same activity in the heat. It can seem exciting to work harder than you’ve ever done — but there’s a time and place for that, and it’s not in the heat.
Though a little more complicated, exercising in the summer heat is absolutely feasible. Just make sure you take a little more time and follow the above precautions and tips. If you start to feel dizzy or lightheaded, get to a cooler place immediately.
Larry Greenfield, a certified fitness coach from New York, takes into account body composition, energy levels, availability of equipment, preferences, and the lifestyle of each client. Mr. Greenfield graduated from Montclair State University in New Jersey with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and got his coaching certification from Equinox Fitness Training Institute in New York. He continues to expand his knowledge of nutrition, fitness, and bodybuilding by taking courses and gaining additional certifications every year.