When the temperature goes up, being active outdoors can be challenging. It’s easier to become overheated when the sun is beaming down all day. The warm months also bring humidity to many parts of the country. With humidity, your sweat doesn’t evaporate as quickly, so your body has a harder time releasing heat. Here are some helpful hints from the American Heart Association to help you stay safe and active during the warmer months:
- Timing is key: Try to avoid exercising outside in the early afternoon. It’s usually hottest between noon and 3 p.m.
- Hydrate: Drink water before, during and after physical activity, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Bring a bottle of water with you, or plan water stops along your route.
- Dress for success: Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothes. Moisture-wicking fabric can also be a big help. Protect yourself from the sun with sunglasses, a hat or visor and plenty of sweat-resistant sunscreen.
- Listen to your body: Take frequent breaks in the shade, and drink water before you’re thirsty. Allow yourself time to adapt to the heat — some experts say that this can take about 4-14 days.
- Doctor’s orders: Check with your healthcare professionals before starting an exercise routine or moving your workout outdoors if you have cardiovascular disease, diabetes, other chronic disease or any medical concerns. Certain medications like beta blockers, ace receptor blockers, ace inhibitors, calcium channel blockers and diuretics can exaggerate the body’s response to heat.
- Buddy up: If you can, work out with a partner for safety … and fun!
If you find you just can’t tolerate the heat, don’t skip out on your workout or physical activity time! Try these suggestions instead:
- Find indoor locations where you can be active, such as a shopping mall, gym or community recreation center.
- Discover activities you can do in your home or at work.
- Adjust your workout schedule to early morning or late evening when it’s cooler outside.
It’s also very important to know the signs of heat-related conditions. Be sure to visit: www.heart.org to learn the specifics about the signs and symptoms of dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke!
Stay Safe and Move On!