Is it safe to exercise during summer? Tips to remember

In summer, the best time to work out is early in the morning. Photo: iStock/nd3000

Regular workouts and a well-balanced diet shouldn’t be avoided during any season of the year to lead a healthy life. Most people skip exercising in the summer saying that it is too hot to get some physical activity. However, if you keep a few things in mind, you could healthily do workouts even during harsh summer. People often prefer different times to hit the gym or exercise at home. But, during summer, as the temperature keeps rapidly soaring, rather than one’s preference, you should also consider the weather or the intensity of the heatwave.

These are some tips that you could follow to enjoy workout sessions even during the summer:
1. The hottest hours are from 10 am to 3 pm. So, it is better to avoid working out at this time.
2. In summer, the best time to work out is early in the morning. In case you are unable to wake up early, try working out after sunset.

3. Wear loose cotton outfits while working out as darker shades would absorb more heat.
4. Make sure to drink at least two glasses of water before working out.
5. Always carry water bottles even if you are working out at a gym or your house.

6. Do not forget to drink water at regular intervals to keep your body hydrated.
7. You could drink more water after completing the workout session.

Merely drinking plain water isn’t enough during summer as electrolytes and salt are lost from the body through sweat. Electrolytes are minerals that help in balancing the fluids in the body. Sodium, potassium, chloride, magnesium and calcium are some of the electrolytes that the body requires. Follow these habits to ensure that your body is supplied with enough electrolytes.
1. The sweltering heat and over-sweating may cause dehydration. So, make sure to drink at least 2 – 3 litres of water in a day. Up to 30 – 35 ml of water is required for a kilogram of body weight.

Wear sunglasses or shades that can block up to 99% ultraviolet sun rays to protect your eyes. Photo: Shutterstock/Lifestyle Travel Photo

2. Loose cotton outfits are comfortable during summer.
3. Avoid direct sun exposure between 11 am and 3 pm.
4. Wear sunglasses or shades that can block up to 99% of ultraviolet sun rays to protect your eyes.

5. Alcohol and coffee should be strictly avoided as they cause severe dehydration.
6. Apply sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Sunscreen creams or lotions of SPF 30 and above should be applied to the face and body to prevent sunburns.
7. Eat light meals in small portions at regular intervals. Heavy foods that are rich in carbohydrates and fat increase body heat. So, fruits like oranges, watermelon, tomatoes, ripe mangoes and cucumbers that have water content as well as vegetables should be strictly included in your daily diet.

8. Vegetable soups, buttermilk, cumin-infused water and tender coconut water nourishes the body. Buttermilk and curd should be consumed daily to keep the body cool and refreshed.
9. Say ‘no’ to spicy and sour food as well as masala and fried food. Meanwhile, sweet, bitter and umami food items could be consumed in moderation. Steamed food items like puttu and idiyappam are best during summer.
10. Aerated drinks that are loaded with sugar and artificial colourants should be avoided.

Vegetable soups, buttermilk, cumin-infused water and tender coconut water nourish the body. Photo: iStock/CameraChemistry

11. Use green chillies that are less spicy instead of red chillies. Fresh ginger could replace dried ginger.
Proper workout and a healthy diet are the ‘magic pills’ that could beat any health issues or discomfort during summer. It improves physical health and fitness while boosting your confidence and mental peace.
(The writer is a fitness coach at King Leo’s Fitness Centre and School of Fitness Science in Kottayam.) 

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