The Heat Is On!

One foot out the door and your face turns red, hair becomes frizzy, and droplets of sweat appear immediately. Know the feeling? The heat is on and summertime is here to stay, that is at least for a little while. While many enjoy being outside and catching some rays during the summer, the thought of going outside for a jog may not seem appealing to most. Summer seems like a great time to be active and outdoors, but when the temperatures are in the 100’s staying indoors sounds even better.

By changing up exercise routines it is still possible to stay active even during the dog days of summer. It just takes a little planning and creativity to get moving and get in shape. Here are a few tips to get started:

  • Timing. Try to exercise early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the hottest part of the day (10 am-3 pm).
  • Clothing. Wear lose fitted clothing that will help you stay cool. Lighter colors will help reflect the heat and keep you feeling cool.
  • Listen to your body. If you begin feeling dizzy, faint, nauseous or have muscle cramps, stop immediately and get inside to get your temperature down!
  • Swim. Heading to the pool to swim laps is a great form of exercise that will keep you cool. It’s important to keep in mind that just because you are in the water, does not mean you do not have to drink water. Always stay hydrated!
  • Circuit training. Set up a circuit of workout stations in your living room to keep your body guessing. Consider workout stations of crunches, planks, jump-n-jacks, push-ups, running in place, and resistance bands for an economical way to work out in your own home.
  • Yoga. Grab a DVD and get to stretching! Yoga is an excellent way to build your core muscles and change up your routine. Done anytime of the day, this method is a sure way to get you moving.

Always remember to stay hydrated and to drink water and fluids throughout the day. Although you may not feel thirsty, it is important to drink lots of fluids. A good indicator to know if you are hydrating properly is checking the color of your urine. If it is a pale yellow color (lemonade) you are well hydrated. If it is a darker color (apple juice), that is a sign that you need to drink more. Another great way to hydrate is to eat fruits or vegetables with high water content including watermelon, apples, carrots or celery sticks. With a wide variety of vitamins and minerals they are sure to keep you plugging along.

The heat is on, but that does not mean you have to turn the exercise habits off!

Meghan Windham, MPH, RD , LD

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