The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity can make exercising in the summertime challenging, but it doesn’t have to be dangerous. Exercise and fitness experts agree that certain workout practices will help keep you safe and healthy, no matter how hot it gets outside. Here are their top 3 tips.

Stay Hydrated

Hydration is always a good idea, but it's more important when working out in high temperatures - the heat makes you sweat more, which puts you at greater risk for dehydration.

“Have a big glass of water 30 minutes before your run to make sure you start out hydrated, and drink about a cupful of fluid every 15-20 minutes during your run,” health and fitness professional Julia Buckley said in an email to Medical Daily.

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Buckley also recommends you avoid beverages that may further dehydrate you such as coffee and other caffeinated drinks.

It’s important to stop working out and take a water break if you begin to experience any signs of dehydration. According to WebMD, these include: thirst, lack of energy, and especially dry lips and tongue. If left untreated, these symptoms can escalate into something more serious such as painful cramps, dizziness and nausea.

Dress Well

There’s no way to control the weather, but there are ways to give yourself as little exposure to the intense sun as possible. Buckley recommends you dress for the weather, and wear breathable fabrics that allow sweat to escape without making you feel sticky. It's best to avoid cotton as the fabric can absorb water which may cause chaffing. Also, Buckley says that less is more when it comes to summer workout clothes; it's best to opt for a loose fitting top and shorts.

Tom Holland, an exercise physiologist and certified sports nutritionist, and author of "The 12-Week Triathlete," also recommends wearing light-colored clothing, putting on a hat or visor, and ensuring you wear enough sunscreen.

Beat the Heat

If you can, make your workout plan better suited for hot weather, such as opting for swimming over traditional cardio, or if may even help to take your workout indoors to a gym. However, if your running plan is non-negotiable, then keep your runs short in especially hot weather, or run early in the morning or late in the evening when temperatures are coolest.

“Plan your routes to make the most of shaded areas. Streets lined with trees can be cooler or high buildings can provide shade for urban runners,” Buckley suggested. “Notice where the sun is in the sky and aim for the shadowy side of the street.”

Safety is important when it comes to working out in the heat. Listen to your body and take a rest or a sip if you’re not feeling well.

See Also:

Summer Safety: 8 Outdoor Fitness Training Tips To Help You Keep Cool

Heat Illnesses: 5 Dangers Of Extreme Heat