Summer exercise. Keep cool in hot weather.
Don’t let this heat get you down. If you are heading outside to be active during the summer it is important to be prepared. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are dangerous side effects of overdoing summer exercise. These come when the body can no longer sustain the pace, the heat, the humidity, or the loss of fluid. The body cools off by sweating, and as long as you remain hydrated, the body is able to cool itself off. Signs of heat related illness include general fatigue, weakness, nausea, dizziness, muscle cramps, and an increase in body temperature. This doesn’t mean you must abandon your quest for a great summer workout.
Follow these simple guidelines to exercise smart in the heat:
- Take it Slow. Take it easy at first. As your body adapts to the heat, gradually increase the length and intensity of your workouts or your time outside.
- Drink Plenty of Fluids. Drink plenty of water while you are working out- even if you don’t feel thirsty. Try to avoid drinks that contain caffeine or alcohol, which actually promote fluid loss.
- Dress Appropriately. Wear lightweight, loose fitting clothing promotes sweat evaporation and cooling by letting more air pass over your body. Avoid dark colors which absorb heat.
- Avoid the mid-day sun. Plan your outdoor activity for the morning or evening- when it is cooler outdoors.
- Wear sunglasses and sunscreen. Protect your skin and eyes from the harsh sun!
- Look for shaded trails or pathways. Do what you can to stay in the shade and out of the sun. Parks are a great place to find grass and trees.
- Check the weather. before you start your workout. If there’s a heat advisory, meaning high ozone and air pollution, you might want to take your workout indoors. These pollutants can damage your lungs.
- Get Wet.It never feels like you’re sweating while you are working out in the pool so choose workouts like swimming, water aerobics classes or running in shallow water.
- Most importantly, listen to your body.Stop immediately if you’re feeling dizzy, faint or nauseous.
If it feels too hot to even swim this weekend but you want to get outside–take a trip to the mountains! Specifically, Spring Mountains, what we affectionately refer to as Mount Charleston. These forested mountains can be a real oasis from this summer heat and a chance to explore something new.