With temperatures rising, it can be tempting to hide from the heat indoors. While this might seem like a good idea, it can take a toll on healthy exercise habits. “Planning and being prepared for hotter weather is key to staying safe and active outside during the summer months,” said Jeffrey Lambert, an internal medicine doctor at TMCOne.
Here are a few of his tips on staying active during summer.
Be an early bird
With the sun rising as early as 5:15 a.m., it gets warm early. If you prefer trails over treadmills, get up early before the triple digits set in.
If you’re not a morning person, this is easier said than done, but not impossible. Get to bed earlier and plan to meet a friend to hold you accountable.
Just keep swimming
Swimming is a great form of low-impact exercise and you won’t feel hot while doing it. Just make sure you are protecting yourself from the sun with sunscreen or protective swimwear.
Block the sun
“Summer often means fun in the sun, but too much of it can be harmful,” Dr. Lambert said. “Take precautions to keep yourself safe.”
- Use sunscreen with a sun protective factor (SPF) 15 or higher, and both UVA and UVB protection. Reapply every two hours that you are in the sun.
- Wear loose fitting clothing that covers your skin.
- Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade your face, head, ears and neck.
- Don’t forget to wear sunglasses. The sun can damage your eyes and increase the risk of cataracts.
“It might sound obvious, but don’t forget to drink water,” Dr. Lambert said. “The standard recommendation is eight to 10 glasses of water each day, but when being active during a Tucson summer, you might need more.”
The best way to determine if you are hydrated enough is to look at your urine. It should be light in color, similar to lemonade. Dark urine the color of apple juice is an indicator of dehydration.
Keep in mind drinking smaller amounts more frequently maintains hydration better than drinking a large amount all at one time. Also, don’t wait until you are thirsty to start replacing fluids, rather drink throughout the day.