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Summer Wellness Tips- Staying Cool When Exercising in the Summer

July 23 - Posted at 2:02 PM Tagged: , , , , , , ,

It is time to take your winter treadmill routine outdoors to the parks. Summer is here and you are prepared to sweat! But before you lace up your running shoes, read these eight tips to help you keep cool during the summer months.


Safety tips

Heat-related illness is serious, but that does not mean you are doomed to spending summer indoors in the air-conditioned gym. Review these safety tips before you step out into the sun:


  1. Exercise in the early morning or late evening hours. The temperature is the coolest at this time. Avoid exercising midday because it is the hottest part of the day.


  2. Drink up! Do not wait until you are thirsty to start hydrating. Make sure to drink adequate amounts of fluids. If you are exercising for an extended period of time, you may need to replace the salt and minerals lost through sweat. If you are on diuretics (water pills) or a low-salt or fluid restricted diet, talk to your doctor first about your specific fluid needs.


  3. Wear lightweight, loose fitting clothing. Consider dressing in clothes made with moisture wicking fabric.


  4. Protect yourself from the sun. Wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher. try to exercise in the shade if possible. Play tennis on a court shaded by the trees or take a walk in a wooded park.


  5. Rest early and often. Take breaks in shady areas.


  6. Gradually get used to the heat. It takes 7-10 days for your body to adapt to the change in temperature. Start by exercising for a short time, at a low intensity. Save long, hard workouts until after you are acclimates to the summer air.


  7. Mind the weather. Do not exercise on the hottest days. Keep an eye on the heat index. The heat index is a calculation of the temperature and humidity. It measures “how hot it really feels” outside. Be cautious when the heat index gets above 80 degrees. Consider working out indoors. Walk around a shopping mall or do a workout DVD in your air-conditioned home.


  8. Stop if you don’t feel well. If you have any of the warning signs of heat-related illness, stop your workout right away.


Recognize Warning Signs of Heat Illness

The heat can take its toll on your body and make you sick. Heat-related illness can even be life threatening. Learn how to spot signals of heat-related illness. They range from cramps to muscle spasms to more serious signs like dizziness or fainting. If possible, move to a cool place to help cool the body down and drink fluids .


Heat exhaustion is a warning sign that your body cannot keep itself cool. Stop exercising right away. Heat exhaustion is dangerous and may lead to heat stroke. Symptoms include:


  • excessive thirst
  • heavy sweating
  • weakness
  • dizziness
  • headaches
  • cramps
  • nausea or vomiting
  • dehydration


Heat stroke is life-threatening. Stop exercising right away and call 911 for any of the following symptoms:

  • unusual behavior, hallucinations or confusion
  • fainting
  • seizures
  • fever of 104 degrees F or greater


Heat illness is more likely to occur in people who:

  • are 65 or older
  • infants and children up to age four
  • have chronic illnesses
  • are obese
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