You’re exercising in the heat of the dayDudarev Mikhail/Shutterstock
If possible, avoid outdoor exercise and work out indoors instead. If you must head outside, at least plan your activity for the coolest parts of the day (early morning or after sunset). When exercising in heat, stop for drink breaks every 15 minutes. Watch for dehydration symptoms such as licking your lips often, sunken eyes or feeling a loss of energy. If you’ve had heat stroke before, exercising intensely outside in high heat isn’t recommended because you are at a higher risk of getting it again, says Bixenmann. In fact, any strenuous activity in hot conditions, such as mowing the lawn, dancing at a concert, or playing softball, can lead to heat-related illness, warns Raukar. Taking regular breaks from activities, preferably in a cooler area, will help to regulate your core temperature. Here are 15 more ways to avoid summer workout dangers.
You’re dehydratedWAYHOME studio/Shutterstock
Make sure you stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, and be aware of the signs of dehydration. The best way to monitor this is to keep a close eye on your urine. “Make sure it’s light in color,” says Bixenmann. “It’s tough to tell people to drink a specific amount of water per day. It’s actually weight-based and different if you have certain health issues. Paying attention to your urine is the best method to find out if you are hydrating enough.” Smith adds that if you are sweating a lot, it may be best to choose an electrolyte sport drink over water. He also recommends drinking 24 ounces a couple of hours before and 8 ounces every 20 minutes during activity—even if you don’t feel thirsty—when exercising or working outdoors. Don’t miss these other signs of dehydration you never learned about.
You have bad timingTCreativeMedia/Shutterstock
If you want to avoid signs of heat stroke, don’t head outside during the hottest hours of the day, typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. According to the Sun Safety Alliance, the sun is at its most intense when its highest in the sky. Smith recommends paying attention to the heat index, which is a measurement of how hot you’ll feel from the combination of humidity and air temperature. “If the humidity is above 60 percent, your body’s ability to cool off through sweat evaporation is hindered,” he explains. “In this situation, your risk of overheating increases, so you should take extra precautions. When the heat index is 90 or above, the risk rises significantly. So during a summer heat wave, pay attention to the heat index and avoid direct sunshine, which can increase the heat index by 15 degrees.”