Beat the Heat!

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.

References:

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

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3 thoughts on “Beat the Heat!

  1. Good post!! I think I have done a good job following most of your guidelines….especially when I’m out walking my dog. I have been trying to get outside first thing in the morning and usually walk on the shady side of the street. I definitely don’t drink 20 ounces of water 2 hours before walking though!!! That is a ton of water to drink first thing in the morning. I do try to continuously drink water throughout the day. Right now, it hasn’t been hard too do, but I’m not great at drinking tons of water during the cooler month.

    I sure many people probably don’t take into account how their medicines affect them while in the sun. I currently have a medication that should prevent me from being in the sun, but it is often a challenge! Good point to bring up with this heat-wave!

  2. I really need to take the time and re-evaluate my cardiovascular activities to follow your guidelines better During long runs and bike rides I rarely ever take water with me , but I usually pre-load. I also run during the times 11-2 on my days off, which is horrible idea (besides working on my tan). I am glad you mentioned medications, since I have had issues with acne medications when I was younger and sun adverse reactions that can be pretty harsh. It took everybody awhile to figure out what was getting to me so badly. Luckily I have not gotten heat exhaustion and dehydration problems since football double days, and can change my ways.

    Thanks for the great article. When I go running next I am going to change a few things!

  3. Great article, I can remember in high school football when we would have two practices a day and the coaches were always persistent on staying hydrated. Some of the key signs of dehydration that they would look for would be dry sticky mouth, tiredness, thirst, dry skin, headaches, and being dizzy. Being able to practice in one hundred degree heat with all of the pads and helmets were very challenging but the most important thing we always remembered was to stay hydrated. Another great article to show the importance of water.

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