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Here’s How You Can Still Stay Active Despite the Summer Heat

by Carolyn Lee Jul 1, 2019

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Summer usually brings excitement for parties, beach days and showing off fit bodies. However, this summer may be a little different.  

Over the past weeks, there have been numerous alerts on heatwaves facing Europe and the Caribbean. 

If you are a fitness enthusiast or still planning on staying active, the heat is an obvious deterrent.  

When a heatwave occurs, it brings with it excessively hot weather and high humidity. People can become easily dehydrated; experience heat exhaustion or heat stroke.  

More severe illnesses include asthma attacks, heart attacks and cerebrovascular accidents (the sudden death of some brain cells from lack of oxygen). 

So, do we give up on staying active? 

We’ve explored a few ways that you can remain active – safely. We’ve made sure to include some precautions, as staying healthy is a priority. 

Here are a few ways to stay active despite the summer heat. 

Before you start working out: Speak to your healthcare provider before embarking on a workout regime. Do a proper physical to ascertain how far you can push yourself. Also, speak to your personal trainer or gym instructor about routines based on the recommendations of your health care provider.  

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Smart timing: Work out when it is cool. This may mean that you wake up a bit earlier, stay indoors (air-conditioned gym) or do your work out later in the evening when it is cooler. 

Change up your routine: Exercise in shorter spurts and spread it throughout the day (15 minutes). Do more challenging exercises indoors. Try a new activity that allows you to work out at night or early in the morning (cycling, walking or running). 

Hydrate: Drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated. At least 15 minutes before working out, drink 8-10 ounces of water. Replenish during your work out (8 ounces every 15 minutes) and after (for each pound lost, drink 16 ounces of water). Weigh yourself before and after working out. 

Water-based workouts: Exercise in a pool or at the beach (when it’s cool out). Try water volleyball, water aerobics, or doing laps. 

Pay attention to your body: Pace yourself. Take breaks if you are sweating too much or feel dehydrated. Allow your body to get accustomed to the heat. Stop if you experience symptoms of a health crisis (racing heartbeat, dizziness, nausea, muscle cramps, headaches, etc.). 

Finally, here is what you can do if you experience heat-related illnesses: 

1

Stop exercising. 

2

Rehydrate with water or ice cubes. 

3

Use a wet cloth on your neck, underarms and groin. 

4

Douse yourself with cold water. 

5

Get medical attention if the situation does not improve. 

People with pre-existing health conditions including hypertension, diabetes, asthma and other respiratory illnesses are at higher risks of being affected. It is important that you speak with your doctor before embarking on any type of workout regime, especially during a heatwave. 

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SourcesHeart.OrgLife HackerHealthUS National Library of MedicineJohn Hopkins and WebMD.