Thursday, June 19, 2008

Beat The Heat!

Summer is an excellent time to play in the sun, but the combination of exercise and heat can be a bit uncomfortable, and can be even deadly. Exercising in the heat correctly and safely depends on effective body temperature control and adequate muscle blood flow. The combined demands for blood by muscles for exercise and by the skin to rid the body of the heat, can impair your ability to exercise properly and make your body temperature control "out-of-whack"!

Apply the following guidelines to help you exercise safely in the sun:

  • Get in good shape- Increase your intensity and the duration of your training slowly. You'll need to let your body adapt to the heat when you begin an outdoor exercise routine. But remember: Physical Fitness is the best protection against heat illness.
  • Exercise during the cooler times of the day.
  • Plan for regular water breaks. Use a drink that is cold (45-55 0F). Keep the sugar low (less than eight grams per 100 milliliters). Look for a drink with a "small" amount of electrolytes.
  • "Drink Up" before exercise. Drink about one pint of water 30 minutes before activity.
  • Drink fluids in the early stages of exercise.
  • Don't drink too much water-Drinking too much water can cause water intoxication (hyponatremia), which can be deadly. Just let your thirst be your guide.
  • Dress lightly. Wear something that will protect against the sun but also allows sweat to evaporate. Sweat actually cools the body when it evaporates. Visit for a great selection of sweat proof clothing and gear.
  • Weigh yourself daily if you are exercising outside regularly. Drink enough water to maintain a stable weight.

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