Working Out Safely In The Summer Heat

While physical fitness is an activity that should be enjoyed all year long for the many benefits that it can bring to your body, health and mind, being active is even more fun (and inviting) during the months in which you can get outside and work out among nature. For instance, the summer season brings with it the opportunity to get outside to visit your local pool, parks or trails to take advantage of the many features that this season has to offer.

However, there are many safety hazards that also come with the fun and excitement of the wonderful summer weather. For instance, the increased temperature and sunshine means that every time you head outside, you are putting yourself at risk for sunburn, dehydration or any number of other risks that come with this time of year.

Luckily, you do not need to lock yourself indoors all season long in order to avoid these summer dangers. Instead, follow these simple work out safety tips in order to stay healthy and happy for the rest of the season:

Stay Hydrated

Whenever you work out, there is a good chance that you will be sweating, especially if the hot summer sun is baking down on you. What this means is that your body will be depleting all of its stored fluid, resulting in dehydration if you are not careful to drink water before, during and after your workout. Therefore, it is vital to a healthy workout that you stay hydrated at all times. Doctors suggest that you drink at least 8-10 glasses (8 oz. each) of water every day, and even more if you are planning on working out.

Start and End Slowly

If you are someone who is not used to exercising regularly in the hot summer sun, you should always take it easy on your body. For instance, start out at a nice, simple pace, then gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workout as you become more comfortable with the pace that you are at. You should also make sure to begin each workout session with at least 10 minutes of warming up and cooling down movements, either by walking to increase your heart rate or stretching after your workout. This will help to warm up your muscles and prevent injuries.

Wear The Right Gear

Most people who injure themselves while exercising or working out do so because they did not take the time to equip themselves with the right clothing or equipment. Because each and every sport has different types of shoes, clothing and gear, it is important to do your research before getting started in order to find the right outfit that works best for your workout. During the summer months, it is also important to layer your clothing so that you can add or remove any layers depending on the time of day that you are outside and the rise and fall of the temperature. It’s also important that you purchase clothes with proper reflective fabric if you plan on heading outdoors for your workout.

Listen To Your Body

Above all else, it is important that you listen to your body and stop exercising if you feel as if something is wrong. Signs such as dizziness, muscle cramps, sharp joint paints and irregular heartbeats are all signs that you should stop working out right away.


Authored by: YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas