Blog Post

Exercise Safely During Summer

June 02, 2015

Kris Drake, RN, CHPD
“I have to exercise in the morning before my brain figures out what I'm doing.” –Marsha Doble

According to the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, you need to do two types of physical activity each week to improve your health – aerobic and muscle-strengthening. Adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week and strength-training activities on two days of the week. With summer upon us, in order to avoid heat related illness, it is important to follow safety guidelines while exercising in the heat.

Avoid exercising during the hottest part of the day from 10 am – 3 pm. The risk of heat exhaustion rises as the heat index climbs above 90.
Drink water before, during and after your workout. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, you should drink 4 – 16 ounces of fluids every 15 – 20 minutes during your workout. If you are working out more than an hour, you may need to hydrate with an electrolyte solution. Drink water often, even if you don’t feel thirsty, to avoid heat exhaustion.

Wear sunscreen and exercise in the shade if possible.

Wear light-colored, breathable clothing. You may want to wear clothing that actually wicks the moisture (sweat) away from your skin which can help make you more comfortable. Sweating is the body’s way of regulating your temperature. If you or someone else should stop sweating while exercising in the heat, experience nausea or vomiting, feel light headed or dizzy, seek immediate medical attention as you may be experiencing a heat stroke.

If you suspect someone is having a heat stroke – which is a life threatening condition – move the individual to a shady place if possible, and you may want to remove some clothing to make them feel relaxed. Pouring cold water on the person’s body may help in reducing heat. If you have water or electrolyte fluid on hand, get him or her to drink what they can as long as they are conscious.

By following the suggested guidelines you can still exercise safely in the summer months. So why not exercise first thing in the morning for safety’s sake and have the rest of the day to yourself?