Sunset on a lake

Keep cool by exercising at the early or late part of the day. That time is prettier, too, don’t you think?

Yup. The heat is here, and that means working smarter to keep going without wilting. When I was a kid, the sidewalks of New York were plenty steamy, but that didn’t stop us from having a great time playing. When all else failed, we turned to water–spritzing or dunking. So can you!

1. Change up your exercise time to early mornings or evenings. 
It’s just cooler then!

2. Drink up! 
To avoid becoming dehydrated, drink at least 1 cup of water before your work out. Drink water every 15 or so minutes during your exercise. After your workout, drink another cup of water or more.

3. Wear loose, light-colored clothing.

Tight black or dark colors may look cool, but they make you hotter. Stick with light layers that allow air to pass over your sweaty body and allow cooling evaporation to occur.

4. Take it easy.
Start slow, and as your body adapts to the heat, gradually increase the length and intensity of your workouts. Work out inside if it’s too hot or the air quality is unsafe. 

People in the shade of a tree

Shade and common sense are the best way to avoid overheating and sunburn.

5. Be shady.
Stay out of the sun as much as possible—it’s cooler and is the best sunburn protection.

6. Listen to your body.
If you start to experience the signs of overheating: weakness, headache, nausea, loss of appetite, rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, dizziness, or cramps, for goodness sakes STOP. Get out of the heat, drink water, fan yourself.

7. Get an exercise buddy. 
Working out with a friend is more fun, and safer too; in the event of an emergency, they help and vice versa so can you.

Spray water feature in a park

Just add water to your summer workouts–whether it’s in the form of a spray, sprinkler, garden hose, water fountain, or your own water bottle. You’ll be glad you did.

8. Wet your body periodically while you work out.
I like to bring a spray water bottle with me. (The kind you use to spritz your laundry.) The light spray feels great and my students compete to get sprayed first! A guaranteed giggle producer. I’ll also cup some water from a water fountain and smooth it over my arms, neck, legs, and face. Ah, relief!
Fruit and vegetable stand

Fresh fruits and vegetable are the perfect complement to a summer workout–they’re light eating and full of refreshing water and nutrients.

And don’t forget to lighten up your diet.
Eat plenty of easy to digest fresh fruits and vegetables to replenish water and nutrients. I love smoothies in the summer–a great way to get more greens in your diet.

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