Summer is here, and many exercisers like to leave the gym behind and spend their exercise time outdoors. For others, when the temperature's high, motivation can be low. Plus, you have the excuse that exerting yourself might be dangerous! Sorry but these are not valid excuses. You can still walk, jog, or bike without suffering sunstroke. Just take these precautions:
Drink up before you're thirsty. Once you start craving water, you're already 3 percent dehydrated. To avoid that, drink two to three cups a few hours before you work out. Ten minutes before, have another cup — and one cup every 15 to 20 minutes while you're exercising. If you're a swimmer, follow the same plan — just because you're surrounded by water doesn't mean it's keeping you hydrated.
Eat often. Dieters often count on summer heat to kill their appetite — but exercising without enough fuel is dangerous. No one's suggesting a huge plate of pasta. But if you're going to work out, snack throughout the day on lettuce, carrots, grapefruit, and apples — all great hot-weather picks because they're naturally filled with water.
Avoid high-heat hours. Hit the streets before 10 a.m. and after 3 p.m. Another stay-cool tip: Run or walk on dirt paths instead of sun-absorbing pavement. Or try a water activity such as, paddleboarding, surfing, swimming and snorkeling.
Sport the right gear. To deflect, not absorb, the sun's rays, wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Try cotton or "wicking" fabrics, which move sweat away from your body, or these GHRI-tested sun-safe clothes. And don't forget your head: A hat or visor with a four-inch brim will best protect your face.
Slather on sunscreen every two hours. SPF 30 or higher is recommended. Burns aren't just bad for your complexion; they also raise your body temperature.
Lose weight and gain confidence with a personalizedprogram and the ongoing support of Step Ahead's expert team, including a physician, certified fitness trainer, and certified nutritionist. We now accept health insurance!
Dr. Deborah Neiman MD
49 U.S. Highway 202
Far Hills, NJ 07931