The summer months bring with them high levels of heat and humidity. However, this doesn’t mean that you should stop exercising or that you can’t go for a run outdoors. What it does mean is that you need to exercise caution when running or otherwise engaging in strenuous activities while outdoors. What can you do to stay safe while exercising in hot weather?

Watch Your Sweat Level

If you aren’t sweating anymore, it is a sign that your body is severely dehydrated. If you don’t drink some water soon, you could suffer from heat stroke. In addition to drinking water, you should make sure to rest in a shady area or go inside if possible. It may also be a good idea to jump in a pool or otherwise cool yourself off by any means necessary.

Drink Water Instead of Sports Drinks

While sports drinks may claim to be good for you after a workout, there is nothing better than water on a hot day. You should never drink an alcoholic beverage on a hot day as it will only serve to further dehydrate you and make it even more dangerous to be outside. Bananas are a good way to put potassium and other nutrients back into your body if you don’t have any water available to you.

Wear Light Colors

Darker colors will absorb the light and heat that the sun creates during the day. Wearing white or other lighter colors allows the light and heat from the sun to reflect off of your body. This will decrease the overall effect that running or exercising outside in the heat has on your body.

Exercise at the Start or End of the Day

The sun is at its peak sometime around 3 p.m., and this means that the hottest temperatures of the day will occur around this time. Exercising in the morning before the sun comes up or at night when the sun is starting to set will provide a cooler and less humid environment to work out in. Therefore, you may be able to exercise without overheating as easily.

Cut Back on Your Daily Routine

If you normally run for an hour, it may be best to run for only 20 minutes when it gets too hot out. The other 40 minutes can be spent running on a treadmill indoors or engaging in other exercises at home or at your desk. For those who exercise daily, it may not be a terrible idea to give your body a day or two of rest.

Your safety should always be a top priority. Even if you are taking part in activities that are designed to improve your health or get you ready for an athletic competition, make sure not to overexert yourself. Taking it easy for a day or two is generally not enough to lose any progress that you have achieved over a period of weeks or months.

Jessica Kane is a writer for SteelLocker Sports, a leading retailer of brand name baseball equipment at great discount prices.