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The temperatures are rapidly rising! Heat can be dangerous and your risk of heat-related illness increases as the temperature increases. Humidity is another factor to consider because it slows the evaporation of perspiration, which is the body’s natural cooling system. Even the healthiest and most fit individuals can be affected if they overexert themselves or become dehydrated.

Use the following tips to avoid overheating, heat exhaustion, and other serious problems the next time you look to take your workout outdoors under the hot summer sun.

• Exercise early in the morning or late in the evening. The temperature is cooler before the sun comes up or after it sets.

• Apply sunscreen. Protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays by applying sunscreen to all exposed skin.

• Take breaks. When the mercury in the thermometer climbs, you may find yourself struggling more to get through your typical workout. Slow down and pace yourself on these days.

• Wear loose-fitting clothing and dress lightly. Loose clothing allows air to circulate and prevents restriction.

• Drink plenty of water. It is easy to become dehydrated so replenish fluids before, during, and after exercise. Avoid coffee and caffeinated sodas.

• Choose socks and shoes that are lightweight and well-ventilated. It is best to choose socks that are not 100 percent cotton.

If you suspect a heat-related illness, play it safe and call for help. Move to a cool, shaded area and remove any heavy clothing. Drink plenty of water to aid hydration levels.

Beat the heat before it beats you!