When the temperatures start to creep up outside, it's time to start thinking about keeping yourself cool. Not just for comfort, but for your health as well. Being in hot temperatures for a prolonged period of time can result in overheating or even death if you aren't careful.
- Avoid the hottest times of the day. Temperatures typically reach the highest in the later afternoon hours so you should avoid exercise during that time. Exercising first thing in the morning before temps soar is your best bet.
- Stay hydrated. Minnesota summers can be especially dangerous because of humidity levels. When its humid, the sweat sticks to your body instead of evaporating off so it's especially important to be drinking plenty of water. You can gauge your hydration levels by checking the color of your urine. The lighter it is, the better. Keep in mind that certain foods, medications and/or supplements may also change the color of your urine.
- Wear light, loose clothing. Cotton is usually best for hot weather because it allows your skin to breathe. Avoid spandex and tight-fitting clothing.
- Snack healthy. While drinking plenty of water is important, so is food. You need food to stay energized and healthy foods will promote good energy levels. Fruit is an excellent choice because they help add a bit of water to your body whereas eating nuts or granola bars will dry you up and create more thirst. Stick to eating small snacks frequently instead of large meals infrequently.
- Choose your activity wisely. Some really great outdoor activities that can help you stay cool while getting in an effective workout include swimming or biking. If you prefer to do higher intensity workouts like running up hills, try to limit the time you're exerting yourself or do your workout in intervals (Ex. 30 seconds activity, 90 seconds rest).
Minnesota summers are known to be hot and sticky but this doesn't mean you have to take your workouts indoors. As long as you stay hydrated, wear loose-fitting clothing and keep energy levels up, you can have a successful workout without overheating. Always listen to your body. If you're feeling to hot, let off a bit or take extra breaks.