The extra daylight hours of summer make it the perfect season for squeezing in more activity-but the heat can deter even the most dedicated of outdoor exercisers. Follow these six tips to help you exercise safely and stay cool when you're out walking this season.
1. Get acclimated. Don't shock your body by trying to do too much too soon when the temperature's hot-your body needs time to adjust to the heat. Start out with a certain distance and pace, and increase as you go.
2. Plan your workouts. Plan your walks for early morning or evening and not during peak sunshine hours when temperatures are the hottest.
3. Stay cool in your clothes. Wear light moisture-wicking clothes-and not cotton-so your clothes repel moisture and don't stick to you. Moisture-wicking socks also prevent blisters. Be sure your clothing and hat are light colors and not black.
4. Up your intake of water. If you're walking, you need more than the standard eight ounces of water eight times a day. Take a reusable water bottle with you on your walk.
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5. Protect your skin. Wear a high SPF sunscreen and don't forget the back of your neck, the tip of your ears, and your hands. It's always a good idea to wear a hat to protect your scalp from the sun too. Also, look for a route that offers both sunlight and shade.
Photo by: Flickr user R.Duran
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6. Go for the calorie burn, not the sunburn. Instead of spending too much time in the sun and running the risk of overexertion, maximize your walks by using the full range of your arm swing.
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