(and one Intelligent Personal Trainer!)

Hot, sticky, slow-and that’s how you feel before you head outdoors for some exercise or to do yardwork. Your workout can feel twice as hard since your body tires faster in high heat. And with all the hot and humid days we’ve been having these tips will be critical to making the best of the weather. Here’s how to last longer and be safer when the mercury rises. As the temperatures heat up here are a few helpful tips to keep you safe and healthy!

1. SET YOUR ALARM – Sunrise is the coolest time of day, so head out early. It will be hottest throughout the afternoon and at sunset because the ground radiates accumulated heat. Plan accordingly.

2. GO TECH-Y – Technical fabrics wick away sweat. Keep sun out of your eyes with a visor, not a hat, which traps heat. Wear light colored, loose fitting clothing. If you do wear a breathable, lightweight hat, place a few ice cubes underneath before heading out to keep cool.DRINK UP – Drink 8 ounces of liquids before you head out and two to four sips of water every 15 minutes of activity. If you’re sweating a lot and exercising for more than 60 minutes, try a sports drink (or electrolyte-enhanced drink tablets if you don’t want the extra sugar) to keep hydrated and replenish your body with critical electrolytes that help with muscle contraction and nerve impluses, which you lose through sweating.

3. DRINK UP – Drink 8 ounces of liquids before you head out and two to four sips of water every 15 minutes of activity. If you’re sweating a lot and exercising for more than 60 minutes, try a sports drink (or electrolyte-enhanced drink tablets if you don’t want the extra sugar) to keep hydrated and replenish your body with critical electrolytes that help with muscle contraction and nerve impluses, which you lose through sweating.

4. SLOW DOWN – For runners, every five-degree rise in temperature above 60° F can slow your pace. Pay attention to how your body feels. Don’t be afraid to slow down or take short breaks if you cannot get your body temperature to lower.

5. EXERCISE IN WATER – Substitute one weekly land workout with a pool session of the same duration. Use kick-boards or water weights for resistance, or just swim laps.

6. COOL OFF – On very hot days, workout for eight to 15 minutes, then hose yourself off or jump in a pool for three to five minutes. This could be really fun! Repeat as necessary.

7. EAT FRUITS AND VEGGIES – They are not only healthy for you but also contain water to help keep you hydrated… like a nice big slice of watermelon after a hard workout in the summer!

8. PROTECT YOURSELF FROM THE SUN – Make sure you’ve got your bottle of sunscreen for the summer to keep away the harmful rays of the sun. Reapply every 2 hours that you are out in the sun.

9. STAY IN THE SHADE – The trees will help protect you from the heat of the day, so if you can, locate a trail or park with plenty of trees and do your workout there.

10. HEAT ILLNESS – Listed below are the warning signs of heat illness, which, if it progresses, can be fatal. If you feel trouble coming on, you need to stop your activity, find some shade, get liquids and then get inside out of the heat. The following are signs of impending heat illness:

  • Headache or intense heat buildup in the head.
  • Confusion or lack of concentration.
  • Loss of muscular control.
  • Over-sweating followed by clammy skin and cessation of sweating and/or goose-bumps on the skin.
  • Hot and cold flashes.
  • Upset stomach, muscle cramps, vomiting, dizziness.

11. LASTLY, IF IT’S TOO HOT HEAD INDOORS – Some days are going to be too unsafe to be outside during the day. Go inside or try for another day.