Exercising in the Heat: How to Do it Safely

By St Helena Sports Medicine
July 15, 2017

Taking your workout outdoors is a wonderful way to change up your workout routine and get some much needed Vitamin D., But as the temperature soars, the risk of dehydration and other injury rises as well. Here are some simple tips to incorporate into your outdoor exercise routine.

Have common sense

Don’t choose a sizzling summer afternoon to try your hand at rock climbing or mountain biking for the first time. When trying out a new sport or exercise, you can’t predict how your body will respond in conjunction with the heat. Listen to your body, if you’re not feeling well go inside and rest.

Know the signs of heat exhaustion

Muscle cramps, weakness, fatigue, dizziness, and nausea, are all signs of heat exhaustion. If your body temperature rises above 104, your body won’t sweat, or you lose consciousness, you likely have heat stroke.

Allow your body to acclimate

It takes up to two weeks for your body to adjust to temperature changes. If you are training for an event, be sure to train during the same time of day that you will be competing. This will allow your body to become familiar with the temperature, so it won’t be surprised when race day rolls around.

Stay hydrated

Drinking water seems like an obvious thing to do, but often you may not be getting enough. If your urine is dark, you may not be hydrated. If it is the color of lemonade, you are getting enough water.  To be sure your body is well hydrated, consume 20 ounces of water a few hours before you head outside to exercise. Drink another 8 ounces just before you begin your workout. Be sure you are periodically drinking water throughout your training. For instance, take a sip of water every 20 minutes to maintain hydration.

Exercise at the right time of day

Unless you are training for an event, try to schedule your outdoor workout before 7 AM or after 6 PM. The humidity and heat of the afternoon may leave you feeling exhausted and fatigued.

Schedule a consultation with Napa Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic today. Call our office at 707-258-2547. We look forward to meeting you and helping you achieve your goals.

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