5 Tips for Exercising in Summer Heat
In case you haven't noticed, we live in the desert. And, even though we have the benefit of 8 to 9 months of glorious weather for outdoor activities, it is essential to know of the inherent dangers of exercising in the Nevada desert heat.
Whether you are running, swimming, hiking, biking or enjoying a myriad of outdoor fun, the desert heat can be a problem if you are not careful. Here are 5 tips to keep in mind for exercising in the heat.
1. HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE
The largest patient numbers that emergency rooms and EMTs face during the summer months are victims of dehydration. Whether you are playing sports or participating in strenuous activities outdoors, maintaining your body's electrolytes and salt level is essential. Before you head out, drink 8 to 16 ozof water. Carry a bottle of water or a hydration pack and take a drink every 15 minutes even if you are not thirsty.
DID YOU KNOW: Any time you exercise in extreme heat or for over one hour, supplement water with a sports drink that contains electrolytes and 6 percent to 8 percent carbohydrates. This prevents "hyponatremia" (low blood sodium), which dilutes your blood and could also lead to severe impairment and death.
2. WHAT TO WEAR?
Lightercolors help reflect the heat, and cotton material will help to evaporate sweat. Try some designed “hi-tech” workout attire made from materials meant to keep you cool.
3. SUNSCREEN IS A MUST
If you can get burned and suffer sun damage to your skin even on cloudy days, imagine the loss your skin can suffer from direct sun exposure. Use a sweat-proof SPF of 30 or higher and reapply every two hours. If you are taking part in intensive outdoor activities, reapply sunscreen every 45-60 minutes.
TIP:When given the option, choose shaded trails and stay out of the path of direct sun.
4. WHAT TIME IS IT?
For fitness outdoors, remember that summer temperatures climb early in the day. Avoid exercising between 10am and 3pm when temperatures are excessive. Work out early in the morning or wait until the cooler evening hours before hitting the trail, basketball court, or swimming pool.
5. DON’T OVERDO IT!
We get it, you want to get the perfect beach body. But, going all out once summer hits can be dangerous. Pushing too hard – think twice a day workouts and cardio – is the easiest way to burn out. Plus, pushing too hard leads to exhaustion and dehydration. So, don't be a hero. If you feel sluggish, dizzy or nauseated, listen to your body and stop.
Sources: lifeinmotion.com, active.com, webmd.com