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Stay Cool While Exercising

May 26, 2011

There are certain precautions that everyone exercising during hot and humid weather conditions should be mindful of to prevent heat-related illnesses. The best ways to stay cool when exercising in the summer months is to:

1) Use caution when exercising outdoors and forgo outdoor activity when it is simply too hot to exercise safely. (Opt for exercising indoors in a climate-controlled environment instead.)

2) Acclimate to the hot weather by slowly building up the length and intensity of your outdoor workouts.

3) Work out in the coolest times of the day: early morning and late afternoon-when the sun is less intense.

4) Wear light, breathable exercise clothes.

5) Drink lots of fluid before, during and after your workouts. A good rule of thumb to determine how much fluid to drink during your workout is to gauge your "sweat rate" and try to match fluid loss with fluid intake.

a) There are calculations to determine your exact sweat rate, with the average person losing roughly 25 to 50 ounces of sweat per hour. Drinking at least 8 ounces of fluid every 15 minutes would cover you if you lose approximately 32 ounces of fluid per hour.

6) Eat a healthy plant-based diet naturally rich in the mineral potassium (bananas, potatoes, papayas and spinach are all high-potassium foods), and do not restrict sodium in the diet directly before a long exercise bout in the heat.

7) Make sure to warm up before exercising by performing a slow version of the same exercise that you will be doing during your exercise bout, and cool down by decreasing intensity until your heart rate returns to normal.

8) Remember to DRINK, DRINK, DRINK fluids before, during and after your workouts!

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