Outdoors Summer Exercise Safety Tips


As the mercury rises it is important to remember that your body operates within a certain temperature range and that heat and humidity have a significant effect on your body's ability to stay within that range. Avoid outdoor activity or exercise during the hottest days and especially the hottest parts of those days.

Wear breezy colors and light-weight wicking fabrics or loose shorts and shirts. Shorten your exercise activity. Even a 20-minute workout benefits your health. The frequency of your activity matters more than the length of each activity.

Your body is comprised nearly 60% of water. Under moderate conditions, you will lose 2 to 3 percent of your body's water during exercise and it is recommended that you consumer 8 ounces of water every 20 minutes and that you have a similar 8 ounces of water following your workout. The rest of your day drink when thirsty. Under all conditions, it is important not to over drink. Too much water can lead to low blood salt levels or Hyponatremia, a serious medical condition where your cells start to swell.

Hot temperatures cause your body to perspire profusely as it works to cool itself. As this process starts, blood begins moving towards your skin's surface. As the blood moves towards the skin there is less blood to support your muscle's demands and your blood pressure drops and your heart rate climbs. This situation is generally accompanied by a warning, a lightheaded or dizzy feeling. As your body temperature continues to climb, your skin may pale and you might develop a headache, muscle cramps, feel nauseous, vomit and put yourself in serious danger of heat stroke, seizures, and an erratic or rapid heartbeat. On a humid, hot day your body is impacted even more than by temperature alone. The reason for this compounding effect is that moist humid air surrounding your body prevents the efficient evaporation of moisture from the surface of your skin making it harder for your body to stay cool and keep your temperature under control.

It is widely recommended that you use a heat index reading as a guide to safe conditions for outdoor activity. This index uses the temperature and humidity levels to calculate how hot your body actually feels. Over 90 degrees, a move to indoor activity is strongly recommended.

Take a few simple precautions and you'll be around to enjoy many more hot days!