Healthstyle Blog

Keeping Fit Safely During The Summer

June 21 marked the official start to the summer season, and the initial weekend featured highs above 90 in the Atlanta area—along with our famous humidity. Whatever your fitness activity of choice—from walking to running and everything in between—I encourage you to take care as temperatures begin to climb. Consider the following suggestions to help you exercise safely this summer no matter how hot it gets.

Stay hydrated. Dehydration is a key contributor to heat-related illness. Maintain your body’s salt/water balance by drinking plenty of water before and after you exercise as well as during your workout. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to replenish your fluids.

Choose your time carefully. If you exercise outside, do so during the cooler parts of the day. This typically means an early morning or late evening workout. If that won’t fit with your schedule, consider completing your routine in an air-conditioned gym instead.

Dial it down. If you must exercise outdoors in high heat and relative humidity, decrease the intensity or duration of your workout. This might mean a casual jog rather than a brisk run, or 30 minutes of intervals rather than your usual 45-minute session.

Adjust your wardrobe. Pare down your layers and choose shorts and sleeveless tops in lightweight fabrics whenever possible. This will facilitate cooling by encouraging sweat evaporation. Light-colored clothing will reflect sunlight, keeping you a bit cooler when exercising outdoors.

Wear sunscreen. Sunburn will interfere with your body’s ability to cool itself. It will also increase your chances of developing skin cancer. Look for a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen designed for sports, and apply it according to the package directions.

Team up. Heat exhaustion and stroke can strike quickly. Exercise with a family member or friend, and keep an eye on each other. Not only is this a safer option, it can also be more fun than working out alone.

Take time to adapt. Your body should acclimatize to the summer heat within four to 14 days. While the efficiency of your circulatory and cooling systems will gradually increase with this acclimatization, you should still take care to avoid over exertion and watch for warning signs of heat-related illness.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, headache, chills, dizziness or fainting, a weak or rapid pulse, shallow breathing, nausea and vomiting. Heat stroke is characterized by cessation of sweating, a strong and rapid pulse, confusion, fever, headache, nausea, and vomiting. If you notice any of these symptoms, take steps to cool down and seek medical attention immediately.

Is it hot where you live this time of year? Do you prefer to work out when the weather is hot or cold ? I prefer the warm weather. It can be unbearably hot in Atlanta, however I will take it any day over being cold. Cold weather is relative, for me cold weather is below 45 degrees.
I can’t wait to read your comments, feel free to post them below.

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Comments

  1. Helen Erhabor

    Hello Kwavi, Well done for a good job and thank you for promoting good health worldwide. I am a beneficiary and I am already feeling good within me. More grease to your elbows!

    • Kwavi Agbeyegbe

      Thank you so much Helen. I am glad you are noticing the benefits. Keep up the good work and encourage others.

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