Longer days and balmy nights make the summer an awesome time to get and stay active, but working out in heat can be challenging. The following tips will keep you safe and strong as you get your summer workout on.

Check the weather
If possible, it is a good idea to time your workout to avoid extreme heat. Working out in heat can be safe if you can stay hydrated, but when it gets too hot this becomes difficult. To stay safe, try exercising in the early morning, later in the evening or even indoors. Be extra careful on humid days, as the body’s regular cooking mechanism—sweating—is less effective.

Go easy on yourself
The body has to work extra hard to cool itself during the hotter summer months, leaving less energy for your working muscles. Unless you are having a particularly heroic day, it’s probably best not to try to break any personal records during the dog days of summer. Instead aim for steady, consistent workouts and incremental progress.

Stretch it out!
The summer months are an ideal time to work on flexibility and mobility as the warmer weather helps to relax muscles and lubricate joints. Try adding some extra stretching moves to the end of your usual routine and you will be feeling more limber and agile in no time. Research shows that holding each stretch for at least 60 seconds is the best way for older adults to safely increase muscle length. 

Hydration nation!
Staying well hydrated is one of the best ways to feel great and avoid heat related illness and injuries in the summer months. Research shows up to 1 in 5 older adults don’t drink enough water on a regular basis, increasing risk of falls and other health problems. Eating a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables and drinking plain water throughout the day is the best way to stay hydrated and ensure another great workout! 

Dress for success
Wearing the right clothes is especially important for working out in heat. Clothes that are comfortable, let air circulate and moisture evaporate are ideal. Choose supportive, non-slip footwear and avoid flip-flops and flimsy sandals. Lighter colors and thinner fabrics will dissipate heat and help keep you more comfortable.