Published on August 02, 2022

older couple in hot weather

Exercising Safely in Hot Weather

With summer in full force, it’s important to know how to exercise safely in hotter weather. Trey Godwin, MD, physiatrist with Adventist HealthCare Rehabilitation, offers some tips on staying safe and cool this summer while being active.

WGTS 91.9 Health Minute: Exercising Safely in Hot Weather

What tips do you have for people who want to exercise in the hot weather?

Make sure you’re drinking plenty of fluids! It’s recommended that you drink 16 to 24 ounces of water before exercising. If you’re exercising for over 60 minutes, you may want to consider a sports drink for rehydrating. They can help replenish electrolytes and replace salts.

Other tips include:

  • Wearing light clothing and bright colors to be more visible to any traffic
  • Wear at least 30 SPF sunscreen, waterproof is best
  • Avoid the hottest part of the day, 11am – 3pm

How important is it to add stretching to a workout routine?

It’s extremely important to stretch before and after a workout to prevent injury, pain and strains. Stretching allows your muscles to loosen up and will improve your range of motion. Consider dynamic stretching before a workout and static stretching afterward.

Spend five minutes before your workout doing:

  • Jumping jacks
  • Lunges
  • Leg swings
  • Arm and hip circles

After your workout, stretch your limbs and hold each stretch for 30-60 seconds if you can. You should feel a slight pull, but no pain.

What are some signs that someone may have a heat-related illness?

Recognition of heat illness prevents severe consequences. If you begin to feel dizzy, nauseous or tired, it’s time to rest, cool down and hydrate. If this isn’t done, exertional heat stroke should be suspected, which is an emergency. If you have changes in behavior, disorientation, body cramping, nausea and vomiting, these can be signs of an emergency, requiring immediate cooling and medical treatment.

When it comes to heat related illnesses, prevention is key. Make sure you:

  • Hydrate
  • Get enough sleep
  • Avoid the hottest part of the day
  • Gradually progress your exercises over a period of weeks

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