Staying Safe While Exercising in the Heat of Summer

Summertime is a time when many people think about getting in shape and being fit. Maybe that is because we start thinking about how we look in our swimsuit, maybe it is because we feel like being more active and participating in fun activities like sports or physical hobbies. Either way, it is always good to take advantage of the motivation to exercise and be in better shape. So, while you are making a commitment to work out this summer, we have 5 tips for you on how to keep it safe. If you want to learn how to avoid the risks that could come with exercising in the summer, just read on.

1) Timing
When exercising outside, chose the early morning or an hour or so before sunset to do it. Exercising during the hottest part of the day in full sunshine is not a good idea. If your schedule only allows your workout during the middle of the day, stay in the shade and consider having a spray bottle/fan combo to cool your skin down. If you can do a water-related activity like swimming or water aerobics that is even better!

2) Clothing
The color of your clothes can make several degrees difference when you are out in the sun. Dark clothing is considerably hotter, so choose light colors or white when you exercise outside in the summer. Also, wear clothing that is loose will allow more airflow and keep you cooler as well.

3) Hydrate
It is most important to drink right before, during, and right after exercising. It also helps to eat fresh fruit and vegetables as they supply hydration, vitamins, and electrolytes. This is a healthier way to replenish than sports drinks, too.

4) Pace Yourself
It is okay (and sometimes important) to take it a little easier when exercising in the summer. How often you exercise can make a bigger difference than how long each workout is and overexerting yourself in the heat can sometimes do more damage than good.

5) Recognize When Something Is Not Right
If you start getting a headache or feeling light-headed or dizzy, don’t ignore it or try to power through. If your skin starts getting pale and you feel weak, take notice. Having nausea, muscle cramping, or a rapid heartbeat are also signs that you need to pay attention and DO SOMETHING. Have a seat in the shade, drink water, cool the skin with water and wind, have a snack with higher moisture content like fruit and avoid dry snacks like energy bars.

If you stop sweating and have a body temperature of 104F or higher, have trouble breathing and continue having a rapid heartbeat, you should call 911. You may be having a heat stroke. If you observe someone else having these symptoms, they may also act confused or hallucinate, they may be agitated or disoriented or exhibit other strange behaviors. If a heat stroke is not treated, in severe situations it can lead to seizure, coma or even death. That is why knowing how to stay safe when exercising in the summer is totally worth it! You can take precautions to not over-do it and take action if you start to feel even the beginning signs of getting overheated. That way you don’t have to worry about it progressing into something dangerous.

We Are On Your Side at COMC.
At Central Ozarks Medical Center our nurses and health care providers in the Lake of the Ozarks area care about your health and safety. We encourage your fitness goals and don’t want anything standing in your way when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. Staying health also means preventative health care with regular checkups with your primary care physician in central Missouri. If you do not have one, we would be happy to see you at one of our mid-Missouri health clinics and help you find your own family doctor in the Lake of the Ozarks area. If you would like to hear more health-related tips and information from COMC, you can use the links below to follow us on social media.

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