The warmer temperatures can be a great motivator for us to get back outside and become more active again. Taking your workout routine outdoors is a great way to enjoy the summer and stay on track with your fitness goals, but it’s important to be mindful of the toll the summer sun and heat can take on your body.

If outdoor exercise is your thing, here are a few tips to help keep you safe while you continue to crush your workouts this summer.

1. Wear light-coloured, moisture-wicking fabrics

Light-weight, moisture-wicking clothes in bright tones are ideal when exercising in the heat. Light colours reflect the sun, so it’s not being absorbed into the material you’re wearing. And moisture-wicking fabrics actually pull the sweat away from your skin, which will keep you dry and more comfortable.

2. Split up your workouts

Break your longer workouts into shorter increments throughout the day. This way you’re not spending long periods of time in excessive heat or humidity. If humidity is high, it’s best to keep your workouts to 10-15 minutes per session.

3. Timing is everything

During the warmer months, the sun is strongest between 10am and 3pm. If you’re planning on exercising outdoors, try to do it outside of these hours.

4. Don’t discount the benefits of AC

Heat warning alerts are not uncommon during Canadian summers. On high heat and humidity days, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Exercising in a temperature-controlled gym or in your home can be more comfortable – and is safer on extremely hot days.

5. Drink the right amount of water

If you’re working out outdoors in the summer heat, be sure to drink at least two litres of water throughout the day. A general rule is to drink 500 ml of water per hour of exercise. But don’t stop there – continue to drink the same amount per hour for a few hours after you’ve exercised.

6. One sip at a time

Avoid taking big gulps or chugging your water. Instead, sip away on your water throughout the day, like you would a coffee or tea. You’ll maximize the fluid absorption and keep you body hydrated longer. Try these hydration hacks to help keep you drinking throughout the day.

7. Try a water workout

Take up a water sport like swimming, paddle boarding or surfing. It can help you stay cool, but also comes with plenty of sun exposure. Be sure to protect your head with a hat when you’re out of the water and reapply sunscreen every two hours or less.

8. Know your limits

Listen to your body. If you feel faint, light headed, dizzy or nauseous, get out of the heat and give yourself a break. Heat stroke can occur in high temperatures, and physical exertion can make you even more susceptible.

If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, get out of the heat and drink lots of water. If symptoms persist or worsen, seek medical attention immediately.