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How can people keep from overheating when exercising outdoors in the summer?

Sep 3, 2013

Sue Teoli
FT New Canaan


"Dress light and stay hydrated.  Also, if you feel like you're overheating run cold water over your wrists for a few minutes. This will cool the blood traveling back to the heart and it’s a fast way to lower your core temperature."

Bruce Kelly
FT Media


"You may want to consider water-based 'training' like swimming, pool running or if you're lucky enough water sports.  Surfing, SUP, or body surfing are all great alternative training modes. Just remember to wear sunblock!"

Stacy Adams
FT Central Georgetown


"First, stay hydrated! Whether you bring a cooler, wear a CamelBak or a waist belt water bottle holder, always go out prepared with enough water to last you for the entire length of your activity.  If you are doing an endurance activity that exceeds 90 minutes, you may also want to consider using electrolyte tablets or electrolyte-enhanced water in order to keep your sodium-potassium pump in balance and avoid muscle cramping.  Electrolyte balance is extremely important when training in the heat.  Keep in mind, your heart, lungs and other internal organs can also be affected when your body is not in the proper balance.

Second, wear breathable clothing.  Rather than cotton which holds moisture next to your body and prevents your body from cooling itself, opt for performance gear that is breathable and dries quickly.  Examples are Under Armour's heat gear and Nike's Dri-fit gear.  

Finally, bring a cooler filled with water, ice and hand towels.  After your activity or in between activities, wrap a cold towel around your neck.  

Following these tips will allow you to enjoy your activity much more, even on the hottest days of summer!"

Billy Beyer
FT Basking Ridge


"We suggest when exercising in the summertime that you go out for your workout first thing in the morning or as the sun is setting. This is the safest time to do work in the heat!"

Dr. Janet Brill
FT Nutritionist


"First thing should be to check what the heat index is going to be for the day -- an indicator of thermal stress.  If it's in the danger zone then you may want to reconsider exercising outdoors and head for the air-conditioned gym!

"Always try to avoid exercising in the heat of the day.  Try early morning or early evening workouts.

"Dress for the elements: cool, breathable short-sleeved top and shorts. Wear a hat and UV-protectant sunglasses as well as sunscreen.

"Last but not least: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Remember that thirst is not an accurate indicator of hydration level. Fluid intake should be planned to match your sweat rate.  Water is fine for an hour or less. Any longer, and one should consider liquid with added carbohydrates.  The general rule of thumb is eight to 12 ounces of water 20 to 30 minutes prior to exercise plus six to 10 additional ounces every 30 minutes of exercise to help prevent dehydration."

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