Can't avoid exercising in the heat? Here are some tips to keep you safe!

Blazing sun, rising humidity, soaring temperatures -- these might be the perfect conditions for a beach day, but they’re definitely not ideal for outdoor exercise.  So, what should you do? Don your bathing suit and head down for the beach instead of your training session? Although that may be more desirable option, you can’t avoid exercise all summer!

That’s why Bryce Gaines, a sports medicine supervisor for ATI Physical Therapy, offers these safety tips for exercising in warm weather temperatures…

Avoid exercising during the hottest parts of the day. Do your best to avoid outdoor exercise between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. – those hours tend to be the hottest parts of the day, so it’s best to try exercising in the morning or evening instead.

Protect yourself against the sun. Sunburn can mess with the body’s ability to regulate temperature, so be sure to use a broad spectrum sunscreen before and during exercise to protect yourself, Gaines said.

Rest in shaded places. Don’t be afraid to take a break during physical activity in the intense heat. Find a shaded place and attempt to cool down while staying shielded from the sun.

Eat properly. Your body needs fuel to perform its best. Avoid running on a totally empty stomach; it’s imperative that your body has some calories to burn while exercising.

Hydrate!It’s important to get enough fluids before, during, and after a workout, Gaines said. If you sweat, then you know it’s time to replenish. So, the question is – water or sports drink? Gaines suggests that the majority of your hydration should come from water, but sports drinks are okay in moderation. If you do want a sports drink, Gaines suggests mixing half water and half sports drink to cut down on the sugar while still replenishing electrolytes.

It doesn’t take long for your body to heat up. Many times, people assume that if they’re only outside for a short period of time, the body won’t overheat. However, that’s not always the case, Gaines says. Thirty minutes is still enough time for your body to overheat, so be cognizant of what time and how long you’re exercising.

Choose the right clothing. Gaines suggests choosing clothes that “breathes,” such as mesh material. Cotton doesn’t allow you to perspire and will cause your body to overheat, so choose breathable materials instead (including socks).