How to Remain Safe during Warm Weather Exercise
by Kim Beyer, Exercise Specialist at Women's Heart Secrets
Exercising outside can be challenging when the temperature gets warmer. Because it can take one to two weeks for our bodies to acclimate to increased temperatures, gradually increasing the length and intensity of workouts can help you adjust. Here are some other tips on how we can help our bodies adjust to the warmer climate.
Drink plenty of fluids. The best fluid is water. Sport drinks are also appropriate but some contain calories, artificial sweeteners and colors. Avoid caffeine! Caffeine is a diuretic and can deplete your body of water that it needs. Start drinking water before you begin to exercise and drink at regular intervals while exercising. In fact, experts recommend drinking one cup of water for every 30 minutes of exercise. Remember, continue to re-hydrate yourself after exercise is completed, even if you do not feel thirsty and drink more water on warmer days.
Wear appropriate clothing. Lightweight, light colored and loose fitting clothes are the best. Dark clothing will attract the sun and make you warmer. Many clothing manufacturers are making clothing with special “wicking” material in it to wick the moisture away from your body. This helps cool your body. On humid days our perspiration stays on our skin because of the increased water in the air which in return increases our body temperature and makes it harder for our bodies to cool.
Wear sunscreen. Choose a sunscreen that is sweat proof and at a high enough rating to protect your skin. Sunburn decreases the body’s ability to cool itself.
Wear a hat. Hats protect our skin and eyes from harmful rays but also keep our heads cooler and regulate our temperature.
Timing of exercise. Exercise in the early morning, late afternoon or evening. Avoid exercising outside in the heat of mid-day.
Call it quits if you experience:
If you think you might be experiencing a heat related illness, stop exercising! Get indoors, drink water, get your body wet and cool down your skin. If you do not feel better after 60 minutes of stopping the exercise call your doctor. You need to seek medical attention if you have a fever greater than 102°F or become confused or faint.
The outdoors can provide a fun and scenic background for exercise and summer is the perfect season to get moving outside of the house. With the necessary precautions, you can still exercise on hotter days. If you have any questions or would like more information on exercise, please contact Women’s Heart Secrets at 414-961-3600 or visit www.heartsecrets.org.