With summer right around the corner so is the hot and humid temperatures it brings. Exercising in hotter weather puts extra stress on your body. Here are a few tips to continue with your exercise while staying safe and healthy.

1. Hydrate: exercising in hotter weather naturally raises our body temperatures. Prolonged exposure to hot temperatures can lead to fatigue and even heat stroke. The risk increases with the humidity since the sweat that is suppose to cool us off sticks to the skin instead of evaporating. This creates conditions which can cause the body temperature to rise even higher.

To stay cool, it’s important to drink plenty of water while you are exercising! During exercise we lose about 3% during exercise so a good ole of thumb is to hydrate with about 8 ounces of water every 20 minutes.  Continue drinking water when you are done exercising and consumer at least another 16 to 24 ounces.

2. Avoid Sports Drink: these are typically loaded with sugar and calories.

3. Start out slow: when making the transition from cooler to hotter temperatures it’s a good rule of thumb to start out slower. This can be a challenge but it is best for your body to slow down and build back up to get use to the heat. For example, if you have worked up to a 9 minute mile on your 5 mile run you would want to slow down your pace to a 10 minute mile.

4. Exercise early/late in the day: avoid the hottest part of the day and direct sunlight. Instead exercise when it’s cooler in either the early morning or late day.

5. Listen to your body: if you start to have muscle cramps, nausea, weakness, fatigue, increased heart rate or visual problems, it’s important to stop your exercise and start hydrating. Remove and extra clothing and, if possible, wet down your body to cool it more. If you are not feeling better within 30 minutes, contact your doctor.