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Finding the heat too hot to handle? The nice weather and staying at home a lot more than we expected through the pandemic, exercising outside seems like an attractive option.  However, extra precaution must be taken to stay safe in the sweltering summer sun and withstand the record temperatures. Follow these guidelines on what to wear, what to drink and what to eat to make your active summer as enjoyable as possible! 


Beating the summer heat can be as simple as changing the colour that you wear! Opt for lightweight, lightly coloured clothing (which reflects light better) and longer sleeves to protect more of your skin from harsh UV rays.  Schedule your outdoor workouts for early morning or later in the day, when the sun is not as concentrated and strong, thus preventing heat stroke. Always be prepared with sunglasses, a hat and sunscreen. With all the sunscreens available, selecting the right one can be overwhelming. Choose a sunscreen with a high SPF of at least 15 and ensure that it is water resistant, which is especially important when working up a sweat! Reapply often to adequately protect your skin. 


Hotter temperatures can lead to increased water loss due to sweat, which must be replaced.  When exercising, take care to replenish water lost, before, during and after activity.  Increased sweating also increases the loss of valuable electrolytes; a sports drink is a great way to replenish some of the lost minerals and carbohydrate stores when exercising in the heat.  Try adding fruits like berries or citrus to freshen up your water to keep you sipping all day long. 


Summer is also the perfect time to try out new cool recovery snacks!  Smoothies and foods higher in water content are a great way to get more water and help you stay cool as a cucumber throughout the summer.  Snacking on cucumber, watermelon and other fresh fruits and vegetables high in water content will help you stay hydrated while providing valuable vitamins and minerals and naturally low in calories. 


Following these tips can help you enjoy the long summer days.  Most importantly, monitor how you are feeling in the sun.  If you start to feel dizzy or exhausted, it may be time to call it a day. It is essential to be realistic with your outdoor fitness goals, as the heat adds another challenge to any workout. These tips are to protect you for when you are outside, not to allow you to spend hours on end under the pounding sun.  These guidelines will let you savour the sweet summer sun and keep you safe!