How To Avoid Heat Related Illness

Phoenix, AZ, is definitely known for it’s warm, comfortable winters, but this year it’s also known for the unbearable heat of the summer. Even if you’re in top physical shape, exercise in the heat can be dangerous. Clients prefer to come to the gym, where it’s air-conditioned, but like we’ve seen recently, gyms aren’t always allowed to be open. That forces people to either workout in their home or outside. You can do it and avoid heat related illness by taking precautions.

If you must go outside to exercise, choose the coolest part of the day.

It takes some effort to get up early, but it’s worth it for your health and safety. The early morning is the coolest part of the day. The sun hasn’t had time to heat the ground that then radiates back up to you. Between 4 and 6 pm the ground is the warmest exercising after 6, while it’s still light, will help, but not be as cool as the time right after the sun rises.

Stay hydrated in the heat and you’ll be safer.

Staying hydrated is important even if you’re working out in an air-conditioned area, but far more important if you’re facing temperatures that range well over 100 degrees. Carry a bottle of water with you always and sip throughout your workout. Stick with water an avoid sugary drinks. Instead, after you workout, eat fresh fruit to replace electrolytes you lost through sweat. You’ll feel fuller and improve your nutritional intake if you do that, rather than drink a sports drink.

Make adjustments to your workout to compensate for the heat.

Temperature extremes, whether they’re hot or cold extremes, take a toll on the body. A tough workout also makes your body work harder, but makes it even more difficult to stay cool in scorching temperatures. During extreme heat, you need to give yourself a break and scale down your workout to match the temperatures. If you normally run 20 miles in the morning, pare it back to fewer miles at a slower pace. Walk briskly rather than run and never start a new harder workout on those days when the temperatures soar.

  • Adjust your clothing to the climate. Of course, you wouldn’t wear a sweatshirt and pants to run in hot weather, but wearing light-colored clothing that breathes is important. It allows air to circulate to cool you as it dries your sweat.
  • Anyone with a medical condition should also make sure they check with their physician. People with medical issues who normally take walks outside as their form of exercise, might fare better walking in a mall or indoor area in extreme heat.
  • You may not feel like the heat is as bad in Arizona as it really is and won’t realize how much you sweat, because of the dry conditions. That makes it even more important to sip water constantly as you workout.
  • Look for signs that signal heat related conditions. Headache, muscle cramps, weakness, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, paling of skin, light-headedness and/or rapid heartbeat are signals there is a problem. Seek help immediately.

For more information, contact us today at SkinSport Fitness

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