Humana’s July 2011 Wellness Watch highlights summer safety this month. Below are some great tips from this newsletter to stay fit and stay safe in the heat!
Summer temperatures are here. In July, we’ll probably see some of the hottest days of the year. When the temperature is high, take care when exercising because it puts extra stress on your heart and lungs. Here are eight things to remember about exercising during the summer.
1. Water, water, water. Staying hydrated is important while exercising in the heat. Drink water before, during, and after exercise. You should drink about two cups of water two hours before exercise, eight ounces of water before going outside, and a few gulps of water every 15 minutes while you’re outside.
2. Avoid the hottest time of the day. The hottest time of the day during the summer is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Try to get out early in the morning or later in the evening if possible.
3. Wear the correct clothing. Wearing lightweight and lightly colored clothing helps you stay cool. Also, wear a hat to keep the sun off your head and sunglasses to help protect your eyes.
4. Wear sunscreen. Sunscreen will stop your skin from burning. Once skin is burned, it makes it harder for your body to stay cool.
5. Acclimate yourself. Go outside for short periods of time to get your body used to the heat. If you’re competing in an event in the middle of the day, slowly work in some training in the middle of the day to get your body used to it.
6. Slow down. Don’t expect to give your best performance when the temperature is in the 90s. Tell yourself it’s OK to take a few extra minutes to complete a 5K race or to take more breaks during games like tennis and basketball.
7. Use your best judgment. If an inside facility is available during extreme heat, use it. You can get a good workout indoors.
8. Know the signs of heat exhaustion. If you find yourself dealing with any of the following symptoms, stop immediately and get out of the direct heat.
- Blurred vision
- Rapid heart beat
If you have these symptoms, drink water and place a cool, wet washcloth on your skin. If you don’t feel better in an hour, call your doctor. Enjoy your summer and the hotter months of the year. However, don’t risk your health for an outside workout.
Bottom line: Exercising outdoors in the heat can be dangerous because it puts extra stress on your heart and lungs. It’s
important to take precautions and listen to your body to prevent heat-related illnesses.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended as a substitute for medical care provided by your physician or professional care provider. Only your doctor or professional care provider can diagnose and treat a medical condition.