The record high temperatures that have dominated most of the summer are continuing to make outdoor activities more dangerous. Despite the extreme heat and humidity many people are exercising outside, knowing winter is just around the corner.
“It’s great to get outside and exercise before the cold weather sets in, but this year’s record heat makes it all the more important to take precautions so you don’t make a healthy activity bad for your health,” said Kara Smith, personal trainer and special projects coordinator at Loyola Center for Fitness.
Here are a few tips to keep you safe while exercising in the heat.
1. Stay Hydrated. Drink water before, during and after you exercise. You should be drinking half your body weight to make sure you stay hydrated while exercising in the heat. Weigh yourself before you head outside and again as soon as you get home. Whatever weight you lost is water weight so drink that amount in ounces of water to replenish your body.
2. Choose Your Time Wisely. Avoid exercising outside during the hottest times of the day which are usually from 10am – 4 pm.
3. Protect Your Skin. Be sure to wear a waterproof and sweatproof sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun.
4. Protect Your Eyes. If exercising during the daylight hours wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.
5. Let the Heat Escape. Clothes that are light colored and lighter weight will help keep you cooler. Also, look for clothing made out of materials that pull moisture away from the body like cotton. Try to avoid wearing hats, which don’t allow heat to escape through the head. Wear sunscreen instead.
“Go easy when exercising in the heat, especially if you’re just starting out. It takes seven-10 days for the body to get used to the heat,” said Smith.