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Hot weather excercise program should include caution

Experienced runners know how important it is to stay hydrated whether the weather is hot or cold.

Everyone has at one time or another been driving down the street on a day where the temperature reads 95 degrees and they see a jogger pounding away on the hot pavement.

Most wonder if that is a smart thing to do or not.

Sure the person is getting exercise, but in that heat? Is it good for the body to do that?

Most experts would say "no" no matter what shape the person is in.

For everyone who exercises during the summer, it is essential to take precautions when doing routines, especially when they are done outside of a building that has air conditioning.

Most people take a couple of weeks just to adjust to warmer weather with their regular routines once summer has descended.

Here are some tips which will help in keeping a body fit and well during summer exercise routines.

•Re hydrate often. Most people will easily lose up to a quart of water an hour when exercising in hot weather. Drink water before, during and after the regimen.

But once exercising is done, water consumption should not stop. A persons body can only absorb 8 ounces of cold water every 20 minutes, so people should continue to drink even after they are not thirsty anymore. Sports drinks are popular, but most experts still say water is the best because the body absorbs it better.

•Don't work out during the hottest part of the day. Hot weather is a time when the body has the hardest time cooling itself, particularly if the weather is humid. The morning and evening are the best time to exercise, especially when running outside. If exercising can be done at an indoor facility, that is preferable.

•Walking may be the best exercise in hot weather. Again mornings and evenings are the best time to do this, but be sure to secure some good shoes. Walking shoes should have flexible sole, with good arch and heel support too. It may sound funny, but be sure to "warm up" with some stretches before walking to prevent injuries. Cooling down after a brisk walk is also important. Stroll around for a few minutes at slow speed or do some stretches before ending the session.

Exercise should be fun and full of adventure. New exercises may be just the thing to take the drudgery out of it. In fact new ways of doing old exercises may be beneficial to the mind and the body. Some examples of things to do include hiking, canoeing, roller skating. blading or biking.

•Exercise in the water. People can attend water aerobics or swimming which is a great way to exercise during the hot summer months. No matter what kind of swimmer a person is, they can still benefit from action in the water.

•Protection from the sun is a must. Sunscreen is an important part of exercising if it is to be done in the direct sunlight. Use good quality sun glasses to keep eyes protected, and wear some kind of head gear to be protected from the solar radiation.

•Look for signs of heat stroke when exercising. People can become overheated, just like a car with an inadequate radiator. The signs in a person include very hot and dry skin, dizziness, nausea, confusion and unconsciousness. If a person has these signs they are probably victims of heat stroke. That means they must be moved to a cool area or bathed in cool water to lower their body temperature as soon as possible. Cool water poured over the head is also a good stop gap measure. Most importantly, heat stroke can be fatal so medical attention should be sought.

•Wear the right clothes. Tight clothes can restrict the body's ability to cool itself so loose fitting clothes are the order of the day in the summer. Don't wear dark colors either; it absorbs the heat which will be transferred to the body of a person. Natural fibers will absorb moisture while man-made fibers with a mesh weave will allow it to be taken away. Just be sure whatever is worn is comfortable.

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