Eastside Medical Center July 30, 2015

While it is important to keep up your workout regimen during the hot, summer months, it is equally important to protect yourself from heat-related illness. Exercising in the notoriously hot and humid Georgia weather adds extra stress on your body and without proper precautions, you risk serious illness and life-threatening emergencies. Nadine Bristol, an exercise physiologist at Eastside Medical Center, shares how you can get that workout in while reducing your risk of heat-related illness.

  • Time it right. Don’t go out at high noon ready to start your workout. Instead, plan to exercise in the morning or evening and look for shaded areas.
  • Stay hydrated. If you wait until you are thirsty to drink water, you’re already dehydrated. It is recommended you drink at least 64 ounces every day but that may not be enough during the hot, summer months. Keep a water bottle handy at all times during your workout.
  • Gauge the temperature. Georgia’s high humidity is double trouble for outdoor workouts because it can increase your body temperature even more.  On overly hot and humid days, opt for an indoor gym or try jumping in the pool for a low-impact calorie burn.
  • Dress for the occasion. Aim for light weight, loose fitting clothing. Avoid dark colors. Many retailers now offer a variety of fabrics that help keep your skin dry from sweat.
  • Understand your personal risk. Certain medical conditions and medications increase your risk of heat-related illness. Furthermore, if you’re not used to working out outdoors, you need to pace yourself to reduce your risk of injury and illness. Take it easy and let your body adjust to working out in warm temperatures over a period of time.

Using these simple precautions should help you beat the summer heat while getting the workout you need to keep going on your weight loss journey. Watch out for signs that your body is overheating such as dizziness, fatigue, lightheadedness, nausea, severe muscle cramps and vision problems. If symptoms persist, seek medical attention immediately.