On average, July is the warmest month in the Northern Hemisphere. At Ortho PT, we encourage our patients to stay active and exercise regularly, but we would recommend our friends take some precautions when dealing with summer heat. Staying hydrated, exercising early in the morning or evening, wearing light fabrics, and using air-conditioned gym space on very hot days are all good rules to follow.
If you really want to get outdoors, these factors should also be considered:
- Your routine may need adjusting. Your regular cooler-weather workout will require more energy in hot temperatures. Your body may fatigue more quickly than normal, so don’t overdo it. Build up to your routine over several days or weeks.
- Consider new activities. Summer is a good time to try out swimming or cycling, which can actually help cool the body. If you want to stick to your regular routine, you may need to change the intensity or duration of workout.
- Beware of dehydration. It is best to hold off if the temperatures outside are above 80 degrees and humidity is above 80%. Increased sweating in hotter temps can cause dehydrating, and may also result in heat stroke, heat cramps or heat exhaustion (see #4).
- Know when to stop. Cramps are the result of your body telling you to take a break. If you experience a cramp, massage it out and do not try to immediately get back to your activity – give it several hours. Dizziness, vomiting, lightheadedness and weak pulse could be signs of heat exhaustion. Stop your activity and drink plenty of cold fluids. A high body temperature of 104 or above and confusion can signal heat stroke. Seeking immediate medical attention is recommended.
It feels good to get outside in the open air. Being aware of precautions to take will keep you safe and healthy.
These great tips and others can be found on the Cleveland Clinic website.