Summer fitness tips: Don’t sweat it more than you have to

The dog days of summer are here with July soon ready to give way to the even more scorching hot temperatures of August.

That doesn’t mean you have to be cooped up indoors with the air-conditioning blaring. 
Here are some summer fitness tips to help keep your cool:

* Don’t wait to get properly hydrated until you feel thirsty.
Drink 15-20 minutes before your workout and at least take small drinks every 10-15 minutes.

* Avoid caffeine or alcohol before exercising. While you might get a quick boost, they will actually lead to becoming more dehydrated.

* Eat smaller meals more often. Five or six small meals are recommended, with an emphasis on fruits and vegetables.

* Wear loose fitting, light-colored clothes with moisture-wicking material. These will help block out the sun and control perspiration.

* Always use sunscreen and reapply frequently. An SPF 30 or higher sunscreen can help protect your skin from the sun’s damaging rays. Even in the early and late hours of the day you can still be at risk for sun damage.

* Exercise early or late in the day when temperatures are usually cooler. If you plan accordingly you can still do things you like during the hottest months, such as go for walks, ride a bike or play golf.

* Exercise in your home gym during the summer. A treadmill, elliptical machine, weights, etc., are a great way to stay in shape.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. Consult a doctor before making any significant changes in your exercise routine or diet. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at