Exercise Safety Tips for Hot Weather
Did you know that most heat-related health problems can be prevented? They can! If you enjoy exercising and being active outside during the summer, you can help protect your health by avoiding excessive exposure to the heat, drinking plenty of fluids, and following other sensible safety tips.
Before starting a new or intensifying your current exercise program,
see your Summit Medical Group practitioner
to ensure it’s safe for you to exercise in the hot weather.
Your doctor can review your health risks, limits, and fitness level
and recommend exercise options that are right for you.
Follow these tips to protect your health when exercising outside in hot weather:1
- Exercise in the morning and evening when temperatures are coolest
- Exercise less intensely and for shorter periods as temperatures rise, gradually increasing the time and intensity of exercise as you adjust
to warmer temperatures
- Limit sun exposure by exercising in the shade, wearing sunscreen, and exercising before the sun is high in the sky or when it is setting
- Drink cool and iced liquids (especially water) before, during, and after exercise
- Avoid caffeinated and decaffeinated sports drinks
- Increase your fluid consumption if your urine is darkly colored
- Consume fluids with electrolytes if your doctor recommends them
- Wear light, synthetic clothing made with polyesters and microfibers
that dry quickly and allow your skin to cool off quickly
- Take breaks to rest, drink fluids, and recover
- Douse your face, head, and body with cool water during
and after your workout
- Use insect spray to help prevent insect-borne illnesses such as Lyme disease, Zika virus, anaplasmosis/ehrlichiosis, spotted fever rickettsiosis, Dengue viruses, and West Nile virus, among others
- Stop exercising if you become nauseous, develop a headache, feel dizzy/faint or excessively tired, have vision problems, develop a rapid or weak heartbeat, experience muscle cramps, or have other unwanted symptoms
If you’re unsure whether exercising outside during the summer is wise for you, consider exercising indoors at home with online exercise options, in a pool, or at a gym where you can exercise in air conditioning with the guidance of a certified personal trainer.
Kasper D, Favci A, Hauser S et al. Danzl. Heat related illnesses. Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine. McGraw-Hill Global Education Holdings, LLC. 2015; 478e;1-9.