Find Out How You Can be Safely Active in the Heat This Summer

As the temperatures start to increase steadily this summer, it is important to continue staying physically active without letting effects from the heat compromise your health. Some great everyday activities to get your heart rate going include walking, running, swimming, biking, and playing sports. Even gardening, walking the dog, or pushing a stroller are great options for getting some daily moderate exercise. 

But, it is important to make smart decisions when it comes to getting exercise when it’s hot. In the summer, it’s easier to become overheated, and in humid climates your body has a harder time releasing heat because your sweat doesn’t evaporate as quickly as it typically would.

When the temperatures are high, focus on these six tips to stay safe and healthy while exercising.

  1. Timing is everything.

    Avoid outdoor physical activities during the hottest hours of the day, which is usually between noon and 3pm. Instead, plan to work out in the early morning or evening, or do indoor workouts in air-conditioned rooms during the hottest hours of the day.

  2. Hydrate.

    Drink water all day long, especially before, during, and after physical activity. It is important to still drink water even if you don’t feel thirsty, because you could still be dehydrated. Always bring a water bottle with you during your workouts.

  3. Dress for the weather.

    Choose clothing that is lightweight, light-colored, and loose-fitting to keep your body cooler in the heat. Moisture-wicking fabric and dri-fit athletic clothing are also great options. Always bring sun protection in the form of sweat-resistant sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat or visor.

  4. Listen to your body.

    It is important to take frequent breaks in the shade so you can cool off and catch your breath. Drink water before you feel thirsty, and give yourself time to adapt to the heat. The first warm days of the year always feel much hotter than the temperature says, so give yourself time to work up to your goals and get used to the heat again. Experts say it can take 4-14 days to adapt. Accept that you might be unable to work out as long or hard as usual when it is very hot, and that’s okay!

  5. Doctor’s orders.

    If you have cardiovascular disease, diabetes, other chronic diseases, or any medical concerns, check with your health care professional before starting an exercise routine or doing an outdoor workout in the heat. Certain medications can exaggerate the body’s response to heat. Some examples of these are beta blockers, ace receptor blockers, ace inhibitors, diuretics, and calcium channel blockers. 

  6. Find a workout partner.

    For safety, try working out with a partner. It’s also more fun that way!

 

BEAT THE HEAT AT BODY BALANCE

It is important to stay consistent with your workouts, and we understand how that can be difficult in the heat, especially if you are used to working outdoors in moderate and cooler temperatures. Luckily, there are many alternative options that will keep you from skipping out on your workout altogether. 

There are many indoor places where physical activities can be done. It can be enjoyable to go on a walk around an indoor mall, or take fun dance classes in a community recreation center. Great workouts can also be done in your own home, and you can watch workout videos on your computer or television to help you develop a routine. Another great option is to work out in an air-conditioned space, like your local gym. 

At Body Balance, we offer an ample amount of space to do one-on-one training and group workouts in a cool, air-conditioned room. Our highly-trained fitness experts know how to tailor fitness routines to your needs, and we help you reach your goals no matter what the weather is outside. We also offer bootcamps and individual workouts early in the morning so that you can beat the heat and still breathe in the fresh air while you exercise.

Most of all, we listen to your needs on each individual day and adjust the workout depending on how you are feeling on a given day. We understand that some days you might feel a bit more tired than usual, and that is common when it’s hot outside. 

 

STAY INFORMED ABOUT THE SIGNS OF HEAT-RELATED CONDITIONS

The most important thing to know is that heat illnesses or emergencies are more likely to occur when you’re exposed to high temperatures and humidity. Dehydration is also common if you are not drinking enough liquids, and you are losing a lot of body fluids by sweating. Even slight dehydration can put you at a greater risk for heat-related illnesses, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke, so it is important to know the symptoms and know how to combat them.

Signs of mild dehydration:
  • Thirst
  • Dry or sticky mouth
  • Dry, cool skin
  • Headache
  • Muscle cramps
  • Not urinating much or darker-colored urine
Signs of severe dehydration:
  • Not urinating or very dark-colored urine
  • Dry, shriveled skin
  • Irritability or confusion
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Breathing rapidly
  • Fatigue or listlessness
  • Unconsciousness

Like it says in an article on heart.org, “heat cramps are the first stage of heat illness, and they can share some of the symptoms of dehydration.” Some of the symptoms are muscle cramps and pains in the legs and abdomen, very heavy sweating, fatigue, and thirst.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion:
  • Headache
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Weakness
  • Cool, moist skin
  • Dark urine
  • Nausea and vomiting

It is important to know that if you experience any signs of dehydration, heat cramps, or heat exhaustion, you should stop exercising immediately and sip water or suck on ice cubes. Find a shaded or indoor area where you can rest, douse yourself with cold water, and apply cold, wet cloths to your neck, groin, and armpits. If you aren’t feeling better, you should seek medical attention.

Heat stroke is a very serious condition that happens when your body is unable to regulate temperature, so it keeps rising. It always requires immediate medical attention, so call 911 if you are experiencing symptoms like a high fever, hot, dry, and red skin, or a fast and weak pulse. You should also seek help if you are experiencing symptoms of fast and shallow breathing, irrational behavior, extreme confusion, seizures, or unconsciousness. 

 

KEEPING COOL AT BODY BALANCE

Our main goal at Body Balance is to help you stay safe and healthy in any way we can. Along with our fitness training services, we also offer nutritional coaching services. Our certified nutritional coaches can help you make a plan including healthy recipes that will help you stay cool in the hot summer months, while still getting all the nutrients you need. 

Here are some ideas for healthy pre- and post-workout snacks that can also keep you cool in the hot weather.

  • Chilled or frozen fruit
  • Homemade fruit smoothies
  • Cold sparkling water with a splash of 100% fruit juice or slices of citrus or cucumber
  • Homemade ice pops made from 100% fruit juice or fat-free milk
  • Cold salads loaded with vegetables, beans, legumes, and heart-healthy fish, like albacore tuna or salmon
  • Crisp, chilled raw vegetables, like cucumbers, carrots, or celery with a light, cool dip

With all of this in mind, have fun getting exercise and staying healthy and safe this summer!

 


“How to Be Active Safely in Warm Weather.” Www.Heart.Org, 12 Jan. 2024, www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/getting-active/how-to-stay-active-in-warm-weather.

Amber Huk

Social Media Manager, Videographer, Blog Writer

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