This year, the heat is no joke. The temperatures are reaching record-breaking highs, but that won’t stop you from getting your daily run or walk. It’s admirable that you continue to strive during this blistering hot summer, but you must take care of yourself and know the risks as you head outside.
Exercise-related heat exhaustion is an illness caused by overheating when working out. Although it’s less severe than a heat stroke, it can lead to further issues if untreated. That’s why you must know how to prevent heat exhaustion while exercising outdoors. Keep reading to better care for yourself in this hot weather.
Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion
The primary symptom of heat exhaustion is the body temperature rising from 101°F to 104°F. However, some symptoms may be warning signs of your body overheating. Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
- Low blood pressure
- Temporary confusion
- Muscle cramps
- Heavy sweating
- Rapid heartbeat
- Fast breathing
How To Prevent Heat Exhaustion
The best way to prevent heat exhaustion while exercising outside is to check the weather before heading outdoors. If you check the heat index and it’s over 90°F, you should take extra precautions or exercise indoors. Try to avoid working out between the hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. since it’s the hottest part of the day in most regions. While working out, take frequent water breaks and pace yourself. Also, wear light-colored and loose clothing to protect yourself from the sun.
If you’re taking your daily run, make sure you’re using proper running techniques to ensure you won’t strain your muscles and exhaust yourself. Using the appropriate breathing and stride techniques can help elevate your workout while keeping you cool.
Tips for Exercising Outside During the Summer
The heat and humidity can be brutal. If you must exercise outdoors, consider these additional tips to ensure you’re safe.
- Allow your body to acclimate to the heat. Don’t jump outside and do a long workout on your first day; start slow and steady.
- Know your body’s limits and risks. If you’re not active, it’s best to avoid exercising outdoors during hot summer days.
- Don’t forget to eat and drink before working out! Staying hydrated will help you push through the heat. However, don’t eat too much because a full stomach can cause discomfort.
- Always remember to wear sunscreen!