Last updated on Jan 19th, 2021 at 02:53 pm

TV personality and wellness expert Lisa Raleigh offers some some important tips for safe exercising in summer…

South African summers are scorchers, and can pose very real threats to outdoor exercisers. If youâ??re going to be battling the elements as the sun heats up, here are some important things to consider:

Time it right

Unless you are training for an event that will be held under the same conditions, avoid exercise in the middle of the day. 10h00 to 15h00 are SAâ??s hottest hours, so stick to early morning or evening training, favouring the morning where possible.

Watch the weather

Keep your eye on weather forecasts and prepare yourself appropriately. If you are used to indoor exercise, start slow. Also be especially cautious if you are new to exercise or unfit â?? your body may not tolerate heat as well.

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Sunscreen is critical

Donâ??t be fooled by clouds on gloomy days. Sunscreen is a must regardless of the weather and especially in summer. Take precautions and use an SPF over 30 to avoid burns and sun damage. Also beware of exercising with a sunburn, as your body battles to regulate your normal body temperature.

Dress cool

Stick to loose and light-coloured clothing in warm weather. Cotton helps to evaporate sweat off the body, whilst lighter colours will reflect the sun. If you can invest in your training gear, watch out for â??hi-techâ?? clothing and shoes, which are specifically designed to keep you cool.

Keep hydrated

Hydration is key in hot weather, and can pose a serious threat if not taken seriously. Make sure you have had at least two glasses of water within the hour before your workout, and keep water with you as you train.

You need to drink every 15 minutes into your workout: donâ??t simply wait until youâ??re thirsty. Consider a sports drink if youâ??re planning an intense or lengthy session, as these will replace precious potassium, sodium and chloride sources lost through exercise.

Pay attention to warning signs

In regular temperatures, your body can adjust to the heat. However, your bodyâ??s cooling systems can fail when you are faced with extreme temperatures, sweat in excess and donâ??t stay hydrated. Be attuned to your body and watch for signs of heat-related illness, including:
–    Muscle cramping
–    Dizzy spells and weakness
–    Nausea/vomiting
–    Headaches
If you experience any of the above, you need to drink water and lower your body temperature immediately.

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.