Whether it is soccer in the park, a bike ride, a hike in the mountains, or just a day in the garden, when the summer heat comes it is important to be prepared.
Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are dangerous side effects of overdoing summer exercise. These come when the body can no longer sustain the pace, the heat, the humidity, or the loss of fluid. The body cools off by sweating, and as long as you remain hydrated, the body is able to cool itself off.
When you become dehydrated, the problems start.
Signs of heat related illness include general fatigue, weakness, nausea, dizziness, muscle cramps, and an increase in body temperature.
This doesn’t mean you have to abandon your quest for a great summer workout. Just follow these simple guidelines to exercise smart in the heat.
- Take it Slow. Take it easy at first. As your body adapts to the heat, gradually increase the length and intensity of your workouts or your time outside.
- Drink Plenty of Fluids. Drink plenty of water while you are working out- even if you don’t feel thirsty. Try to avoid drinks that contain caffeine or alcohol, which actually promote fluid loss.
- Dress Appropriately. Wear lightweight, loose fitting clothing promotes sweat evaporation and cooling by letting more air pass over your body. Avoid cark colors which absorb heat.
- Avoid the mid-day sun. Plan your outdoor activity for the morning or evening- when it is cooler outdoors.
- Wear sunglasses and sunscreen. Protect your skin and eyes from the harsh sun!