Exercising Safely Outside:
With the recent temperatures being extremely hot, plus humidity, exercising safely is a must. Following these tips will ensure your safety to avoid heat-related illnesses.
- Acclimate to the heat– If training for a race or event, adapting to the heat is important. It can take up to 14 days to adjust to the temperature increase, therefore plan accordingly.
- Know the weather forecast– Knowledge is power. Knowing what the weather is suppose to be, will allow you to make the right decisions. Check to see if there is a heat advisory and heat index. Heat advisory tells you whether you should move your workout inside. Heat index tells you what the temperature is outside with humidity.
- Taking medicines? Talk to your doctor– Many medicines can intensify the effects of heat-related illnesses. This is true for both over-the-counter and prescription drugs. Talking to your doctor is important!
- Choose the right clothes– It important to choose clothes that will help you stay cool. Picking lighter colors will help reflect the heat, stay away from darker colors during these hot days. The best materials for your workout clothes are lightweight fabrics that wick away your sweat. Rule of thumb for running: Dress for 20 degrees warmer that it is outside currently. For example, if it is 70 degrees outside, dress like its 90 degrees.
- Wear sun protection– Sunscreen is extremely important. It is also a good idea to wear sunglasses and a hat to block the sun from your face.
- Timing of your workout- Exercising should be done early in the morning or later at night, when the sun is less harsh. Experts say the morning is the best time of the day to exercise outside. Avoid the hottest part of the day, which is between 10 am and 3 pm.
- Select the right route- To stay out of direct sunlight, choose trails that provide some shade.
- Stay hydrated- One of the biggest concerns during exercising in the heat is staying hydrated. According to Sarnataro (2013),, a person should drink 20 ounces of water two hours before exercising, 8 ounces of water shortly before, and a gulp of water every 20 minutes during exercise. It’s also important to replenish electrolytes and salts.
- Slow down- Understanding that as the temperature gets hotter, you should not expect your personal best.
Remember to use common sense and listen to your body when exercising in the heat. Stay cool and enjoy these summer months.
Decker, Joe. (2013). 8 Tips for Exercising in Summer Heat. Retrieved from http://beta.active.com/running/articles/8-tips-for-exercising-in-summer-heat
Sarnataro, B. A. (2013). Exercising in the Heat. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/exercising-in-the-heat