Physical Activity in the Warm Summer Months

Families, Food and Fitness November 29, 2010 Print Friendly and PDF

In the summer, many people spend more time outside. You may be working in the garden, mowing the grass, going for a walk, washing the car, walking around at a fair or event, or playing with kids or grandkids. Here are some tips to stay safe and healthy when being active outdoors.

girl drinking water after exercising
  • If you have health concerns, check with your physician before beginning an exercise program. He/she can make recommendations based on your health status and any previous injuries.
  • Warm-up before any activity. Walk for 3-5 minutes before stretching to avoid stretching a cold muscle. This gets the body ready for whatever activity you are going to do.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Water is best, but if you are very active for an hour or more and sweat profusely, you may want to drink something with added electrolytes. Sports drinks such as Gatorade or Powerade can provide electrolytes after vigorous activity but keep in mind that these drinks also contain calories.
  • Pay attention to your body’s signals. You may not be able to do all of the activities that you did when you were younger or in better shape. Take it slow and rest when you need to.
  • Try doing activities either earlier in the morning or later in the evening. The temperatures are usually more tolerable at these times.
  • Dress appropriately. Wear a hat to protect your face from the sun, wear light colored and breathable clothes, use sunscreen, and appropriate footwear.

It’s important to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine, no matter what your age. Physical activity helps maintain weight , reduces the risk of many chronic diseases and improves quality of life and overall well-being. Don’t let the warm temperatures keep you inside. Follow these tips to be active and healthy during the summer months.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.