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Exercising in the Heat

9 ways to keep your summer workouts safe.
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Summer Exercise Tip No. 2: Stay Hydrated continued...

If your urine is the color of lemonade, says Roberts, you’re well hydrated. If it’s darker in color then you may be dehydrated.

"If you’re going four to six hours without eliminating, you’re not hydrated enough," adds Eberle, a former elite runner and author of Endurance Sports Nutrition.

To maintain good hydration for a moderate summer workout, Roberts recommends drinking 20 ounces of water two hours before exercise, at least 8 ounces of water shortly before getting out in the heat, and then a gulp every 15 to 20 minutes during exercise. Make sure to talk to your doctor about specific fluid intake when you exercise.

To stay better hydrated, says Eberle, drink fluids with food throughout the day.

Summer Exercise Tip No. 3: Slow Down

When the temperature hits the 90s, don’t expect to go out and set a personal record, says Roberts.

"If it’s hotter than you’re used to, cut the pace back or cut the exposure back," he says. "Don’t try to do the same pace you did the day before."

Be careful about trying to keep up with friends who are more fit or have a higher tolerance for heat as well, says Eberle.

"Just realize you are going to be slower," says Eberle, "and particularly on humid days, it’s going to take you longer to finish."

Summer Exercise Tip No. 4: Wear Light, Breathable Clothing

Lightweight fabrics that wick away sweat are best for exercising in the heat, says Eberle. Clothes should also be light in color in order to reflect the sun.

"One common problem is people overdress," she says. "They cover up the working muscles in the legs, which generates a lot of heat."

Sunscreen is also important when you exercise outdoors.

"A well-ventilated hat with a brim and some lightweight sunglasses can [protect your face] and help prevent headaches," says Eberle.

If your summer workout involves wearing a protective helmet, adds Roberts, remove it during rest periods to allow your head to breathe and cool off.

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