Tips for Safe Summer Workouts – Beat the Heat!

Written by Malissa Spacek on June 25, 2013

Just because it is hot it does Not mean you have to give up on your workout, but it does mean that you need to be safe before stepping outside for your normal routine. Extreme heat waves, like the ones that are all too familiar here in Oklahoma, are responsible for roughly 1,300 annual deaths in the United States.

The 3 types of heat related illness:

1. Heat Stroke– this is the most serious form of heat related illness. It’s caused by the body’s inability to regulate its own temperature due to heat exposure and is characterized by the complete stop of sweating.

2. Heat Exhaustion- over exposure to heat that results in the loss of a body’s fluids and electrolytes.

3. Heat Cramps– muscle spasms resulting from the loss of too much salt and water through sweating.

There are several factors that effect how your body will respond to high temperatures, including: age, obesity, dehydration, alcohol use, fever, heart disease, mental illness, prescription drug use, poor blood circulation, or an existing sunburn.

Here some helpful tips for you to follow for the next time you venture out for a workout in Oklahoma’s hot summer…

Tips for Safe Summer Workouts

1. Drink LOTS and LOTS of water!

  • Staying hydrated hydrated is an absolute must! Drink 1-2 cups of water 30 minutes before you workout. Continue to drink water every 15 minutes once you have started your workout. Finish your workout by again drinking another 1-2 cups of water. 

2. Consider changing your workout times

  • It has been our experience that most people tend to workout in the afternoon hours. If this is you consider changing it up to either the morning or evening when its cooler. If you are not a morning person, change your workout to the morning, it will give a boost of energy to start your day; and, if you end you work day exhausted, power through an evening workout. It will give you a second wind before going home to your family for the evening. 

3. Wear sunscrean

  • Make sure apply sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) 15 minutes before heading outside and reapply often!  Lighter skin tones need to be reapplying every 30 minutes to 1 hour while darker skin tones can reapply once every 3 hours.

4. Workout with a partner

  • Not only is it more fun, studies show that people who workout or try to loose weight together have better results than those who do it alone. Also, having a partner with you ensures that you will have a someone there in case there is a heat an emergency.

5. If you are on prescription medications check with your doctor before working out in the heat

  • Certain types of medications run a higher risk of dehydration and photosynthesis. Check with your doctor before working out outside to make sure it safe. 

6. Pay attention to the warning signs of heat related illness

  • There are several different key warning signs that your body is too hot: muscle cramps, weakness, dizziness, confusion, headache, or nausea or vomiting. 
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