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It’s hot, but we still want to walk. There are many steps you can take to avoid heat stroke.

Water

20 minutes prior to your walk you should drink 16 to 20 oz. of water. You should carry and drink about the same amount during your walk. When you finish walking, drink water again. Don’t rely on thirst to tell you when to drink; it’s not always an adequate guide to your body’s need for fluid.

Go Slow

Another important preventive measure is to slow down your pace and intensity when the temperature is high, especially during the first few days of a hot spell. By walking for a shorter time at a lower intensity early on, you’ll give your body a chance to adjust its cooling mechanism to the heat.

Mornings and Evenings

During hot weather, you should schedule your walking workouts for the coolest part of the day — early morning or evening. Avoid walking late in the morning or during the afternoon when the sun’s rays are most powerful.

Find Cover

Plan to walk in shaded areas, such as parks, forest preserves, and tree-lined streets. If there’s a breeze, walk with the breeze at your back during the first half of your walk. Then, for the second half of your workout, when you’re hot and sweaty, walk into the breeze.

Dress for Success

Proper clothing can also help you beat the heat. In hot, humid weather, wear as little as you can. Choose breathable fabrics that will allow your sweat to evaporate. Invest in fabrics that wick your perspiration.

Don’t dress to increase sweating, ,it’s a misperception that the more you sweat, the faster you’ll slim down: You’ll promptly regain that lost weight as soon as you rush to the water fountain.

Top it Off

When you dress for hot, sunny weather, don’t forget to cover your head. The head is the first part of the body struck by the powerful rays of the sun. By protecting your head, you can help control your body temperature when you walk.

Screen the Sun

To protect your skin from the sun’s burning rays and help ward off skin cancer, be sure to apply a strong sunscreen to all exposed areas of your skin. Choose a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or more. You may even want to try a waterproof sunscreen, since you’ll be sweating quite a bit.

Know When to Say When

Perhaps your most important protection against heat illness is knowing when to slow down and when to get inside. Regardless of your physical condition, you need to take into account more than the temperature of the air.

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