By Tina Haupert

It's important to focus on safety when it comes to exercising outdoors, especially with regard to the heat. Much of the country has seen record highs in recent weeks, so here are some tips to keep you cool (and safe!) when you get your sweat on!

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  • Schedule Your Workouts

    Schedule outdoor exercise for the coolest part of the day. Check the weather for the upcoming week. Some days might be cooler in the early morning or around dusk, so try to plan your workouts, like running, around the low-temp points. <strong>More from Health.com:</strong> <a href="http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20509501,00.html" target="_hplink">12 Ways to Stay Active When It's Too Hot to Work Out</a> <a href="http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20479144,00.html" target="_hplink">The Beach Body Workout</a> <a href="http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20607394,00.html" target="_hplink">Summer Swaps to Save Calories</a> <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/cjmartin/4923465935/" target="_hplink">cjmartin</a></em>

  • Dress Smart

    Wear light colored, moisture-wick clothing that is lightweight and breathable, so it will pull moisture away from your skin, leaving you cooler and drier. Dark-colored clothing absorbs heat, so opt for light-colored gear. A thin hat or visor also helps keep you cool. <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lululemonathletica/4791726982/" target="_hplink">lululemon athletica</a></em>

  • Pick A Cool Place To Exercise

    Instead of running my usual three-mile loop, I seek out cooler, shady paths at a nearby park or along the breezy beach. Often times, it's quite a bit cooler than the streets of my neighborhood. <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikebaird/2257233228/" target="_hplink">mikebaird</a></em>

  • Split Up Your Workouts

    On super hot days, it's sometimes tough to fit in a longer workout, so try dividing it into two shorter workouts. This way, I can still get my full workout in without overexerting myself.

  • Cool Off Your Route

    Know of a few neighbors who water their lawns in the morning before they leave for work? Plan your route to pass by a few times so you can chill out a bit! <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/thecampbell/531776034/" target="_hplink">Delwin Steven Campbell</a></em>

  • Move Your Workout Indoors

    When it's just too hot to exercise outside, I workout in my air-conditioned gym -- might as well make use of that membership! If you don't belong to a gym, work out at home with a fitness DVD. <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/neeta_lind/2517026291/" target="_hplink">Neeta Lind</a></em>

  • Switch Up Your Routine

    When a heat waves strikes, it's tough to stick to my regular workouts, which often involve running. Instead of nixing exercise altogether, I choose cooler activities like walking, biking or swimming. <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/maxtm/363760001/" target="_hplink">maxintosh</a></em>

  • Drink Lots Of Water

    Staying hydrated is especially important during hot-weather workouts, so I drink water all day and extra before, during and after I exercise. I also take a bottle with me on my long runs, so I can hydrate or even pour it on my head to cool off as needed. <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/brendan-c/6043944140/" target="_hplink">brendan-c</a></em>

  • Take A Cool Shower

    After an especially hot workout, I like to come home and rinse off with a cold shower. It feels great, and it's like an instant reward for my hard work! <strong>More from Health.com:</strong> <a href="http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20509501,00.html" target="_hplink">12 Ways to Stay Active When It's Too Hot to Work Out</a> <a href="http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20479144,00.html" target="_hplink">The Beach Body Workout</a> <a href="http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20607394,00.html" target="_hplink">Summer Swaps to Save Calories</a> <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/3762676738/" target="_hplink">stevendepolo</a></em>

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