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Keep summer workouts safe with water

A run through the neighborhood. A bicycle ride through the country. Great summer exercise options—when you’re prepared.

Heat and humidity can make time outside—whether or not you’re exercising—dangerous. And it can happen quickly.

For safety’s sake, follow this advice from Stephanie Kaiser, certified athletic trainer at Carle Sports Medicine.

“First, make sure your doctor knows your exercise plans if you’re just getting started. Easing in is often better than jumping in, especially when it’s 90-plus degrees,” Kaiser said.

While sunscreen protects from the outside, you can protect your body and your children’s and other loved ones’ bodies from the inside. That means drinking plenty of water.

If plain-old water just doesn’t do the trick for you, consider these healthy additions to perk things up:

  • Lemon or lime slices
  • Raspberries, strawberries and other fresh or frozen berries
  • A fresh sprig of mint
  • Sliced or cubed cucumbers

Other beverages will help keep you hydrated, but remember to keep sugar content in mind because if you overdo there, it negates some of your hard work, Kaiser said.

Alcoholic beverages might quench your thirst in a pinch, but they actually dehydrate your body, so they never really pair well with exercise.

Looking to sneak in some extra hydration without another actual swig of water? Try these water-rich options that also contain those essential antioxidants we all need to help stave off cancer and other serious health conditions:

  • Watermelon
  • Cantaloupe
  • Honeydew
  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit

Remember, yard work counts as exercise, and you need to stay hydrated to stay safe while you do it.

Kaiser offers this parting summer-safety advice for those who might have already overdone.

“Don’t work through an injury. Free injury-evaluation clinics can help you decide if you can work through your injury or if you should see a doctor,” she said.