Summer is in full gear and inspiring us all to get outside. Many people of all ages are utilizing the nice weather to exercise. Time of day, temperature, and humidity all play a role in how and when we should be exercising. When outside in the heat this summer, it is important to prepare for the hot weather. Here are the best recommendations for exercising during hot days:
- Exercising between 10 and 3 pm is not recommended since it’s the hottest time of the day. And depending on your location, the hottest temperatures can extend to 4 or 5 pm.
- Make sure to wear loose-fitting, light-weight clothing.
- Make sure to wear hats and sunscreen in order to shield yourself from the sun when you do exercise outside.
- When hydrating you want to make sure you hydrate the night before and drink before you feel thirsty on the day off. Drink electrolytes and water while avoiding overly sugary drinks.
- It’s ok to take your workout indoors to avoid the heat and humidity.
- Use a heart rate monitor to monitor your heart rate and how your body is responding to the heat. For every degree, your body temperature rises your heart rate will increase by 10 beats per minute. Your heart will circulate 2-4 times more blood each minute on a hot day. This can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke rather quickly if one is not monitoring or being careful.
Being aware of the heat is not only a good idea for planning your exercising but also for the rest of your family members. Infants, young children, and those over 65 are more at risk of heat-related illness. Monitor each other closely when you need to be outdoors. Here is how to recognize heat-related illnesses:
- Heatstroke is a medical emergency and occurs when your body temperature rises above 103 degrees Fahrenheit. Symptoms of heatstroke are as follows: hot, red skin, fast pulse, headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion and even losing consciousness. If someone you are with is demonstrating signs and symptoms consistent with heatstroke you should work to lower their body temperature and cool them down while you call 911. Do not give them anything to drink!
- Heat exhaustion occurs with the following symptoms: sweating, cold skin, weak pulse, nausea/vomiting, muscle cramps, tiredness, dizziness, headaches, and fainting. If someone you are with is exhibiting signs and symptoms consistent with heat exhaustion move them to a cool place and work to lower their temperature but in this instance, they can sip water and see if symptoms improve. If symptoms last longer than 1 hour or get worse then you should seek immediate medical treatment.
- Heat can cause heat cramps which are excessive sweating, muscle cramps, and pain with exercise. If you experience heat cramps then you should drink water or an electrolyte drink and rest until the cramps subside. If the cramps last longer than 1 hour or if you have heart issues you should seek immediate medical advice.