Having the perfect beach body is motivation enough for many to jump into a summer fitness regimen. However, it can be difficult to work out in July and August's oppressing heat.
Follow these 8 tips to stay cool, safe and fit this summer:
1. Working out early in the day before the sun is at its strongest is the best option. If you don't want to wake up early to beat the heat, work out in the evening after the sun begins to set.
2. If you can't avoid peak sun hours, go for a swim!
3. Sunburns inhibit the body's ability to cool itself. So protect yourself and wear sunscreen, even if it's overcast. Aim for an SPF of at least 30.
4. Wear light colors and light fabrics to stay cool.
5. Join a gym. This way, if it's too hot to be running outdoors, you don't have to skip a workout.
6. Pop in an exercise DVD such as InterActive Exercise. You can burn just as many calories through resistance training without having to leave the comfort of your own home or worry about the weather conditions outside.
7. Staying hydrated is incredibly important in the summer heat. Drink every 15 minutes or so, even if you don't feel thirsty.
8. If you think you've had enough of the heat, stop. Don't push yourself in the heat, as heatstroke can be fatal.
Signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke:
Signs of heat exhaustion include headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, cramps, excessive sweating, rapid heartbeat, confusion and even loss of consciousness. If you feel any of these symptoms, you should stop your workout and drink plenty of fluids. Without treatment, heat exhaustion can quickly lead to serious consequences.
If symptoms do not improve after about 30 minutes, go to a doctor immediately, as it could be a sign of heat stroke. Signs of heat stroke are more severe and include: Throbbing headache, lack of sweating despite the heat, red, hot and dry skin, weak or cramping muscles, rapid, shallow breathing, behavioral changes such as confusion, disorientation or staggering, seizures or unconsciousness.
Chances are, if you are careful you should be fine. Always be aware of what your body is trying to tell you, and don't overdo it.