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6 Summer Workout Tips to Keep You Safe in the Heat

two people running on the beach
The summer heat can zap your electrolytes fast, so be sure to replenish with water and snacks.

by Autumn Jones

With the summer sun begging you to venture outdoors and warm your skin, you may be inspired to take your exercise routine outside. An outdoor summer workout can offer a fun change of scenery from your local fitness club, but there are a few considerations to keep in mind, like protecting yourself from the elements and staying hydrated!

Before you trade in the treadmill for a warm summertime run, prepare yourself to stay safe while working out in the seasonal conditions with these six simple — yet oh so important — tips.

1. Wear Your Sunscreen

There's no bigger summer bummer than a nasty sunburn, so if you're exercising outdoors, lather up with a hefty dose of SPF. It's a good idea to choose a sunscreen with a sports formula that's designed to withstand a workout (and won't be washed away by sweat).

2. Remember to Drink Water

Staying hydrated is a top priority when working out, but don't wait until you're exercising to start sipping. According to Men's Fitness, a good rule of thumb is to "drink 8 oz. of water 30 minutes before you hit the gym to ensure your muscles are firing on all cylinders. Then drink 16 oz. within 30 minutes of finishing."

You should also consider the conditions in which you'll be exercising. It's a good idea to drink more than 8 oz. prior to a workout if you're heading outdoors to exercise in the heat, planning a longer routine, or aren't already fully hydrated.

3. Hydrate 2.0

The summer heat can zap your electrolytes fast, so be sure to replenish with foods rich in the minerals needed to keep your body balanced. Try a post-workout snack of bananas, olives, nut butter, or leafy green veggies to give your electrolyte levels a boost, as Prevention suggests.

4. Choose Your Time Wisely

If you're craving some fresh air, take a look at the daily weather forecast to check for the lowest temperature of the day, then plan your outdoor exercise regimen accordingly. This is an easy way to enjoy a summer workout while lowering the risks that come with performing physical activity during peak hours.

There are a number of benefits to exercising in the early morning as well as the evening hours. Aside from enjoying the cooler temperatures, you may find that working out during "off-peak" times provides a great opportunity to clear your head and mentally prepare for the tasks that await you!

5. Gear Up

Exercising outside means making a few wardrobe adjustments. Gear up in breathable, lightweight, moisture-wicking, or mesh materials to help keep your body cool. And remember to put on a hat and sunglasses to avoid getting a sunburn on your scalp and protect your eyes.

6. Don't Forget About the Gym

When exercising outside, it's important to pay extra close attention to the signals your body is sending. Feeling dizzy, overheated, nauseous, or short of breath? It's a sign to take a break, get hydrated, and cool off.

Also, just because it's summer doesn't mean you should forget about the gym! Sometimes a temperature-controlled environment may be exactly what you need to escape the summer heat and still fit in your workout.

As always, please consult with a physician prior to beginning any exercise program. See full medical disclaimer here.