Summer fitness safety promotes well-being year-round

By HSC Staff Writer • Published: August 12th, 2008
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

When scorching summer weather arrives, soft sand and crashing waves are on many people’s minds. And surf-friendly weather often means stepping-up the fitness routine for that coveted beach body.

But before you attempt to exercise in the heat, take some precautions to avoid dehydration and illness.

According to the Mayo Clinic, exercising in hot weather stresses your heart and lungs, while exercise itself… along with air temperature… increases body temperature. If you are exposed to high temperatures and humidity for too long, your body’s cooling system may fail, leading to heat illness.

Following a few simple tips will help you stay cool and healthy during the summer months:

Exercise in the morning or evening, avoiding the midday heat.

Keep yourself hydrated, so your body can keep itself cool. This means drinking plenty of water before, during and after your workout… even when you don’t feel thirsty.

Take it slow and let your body adjust to the heat.

Apply S-P-F fifteen or higher at least thirty minutes before you go outside to protect your skin from U-V rays that can lead to dangerous sunburns.

If the weather is too hot to handle, have an alternate plan to workout indoors or in the pool.

Remember to monitor how you’re feeling throughout the workout. If you begin to feel the first signs of heat illness, including nausea, dizziness or muscle cramping, rest and drink water. Seek medical help if you have a fever or become confused.