Having a Heatwave? When Exercising, Know Your Body’s Limits

Heat wave and exercise
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Brace yourself for a weekend heatwave with temperatures in some Connecticut towns reaching 100 degrees. More ominously, heat-index values that combine temperature and dew point are expected to reach as high as 115.

That probably won’t stop the diehard exercisers among us, but experts advise caution during such extreme weather.

Although being active is good for your health, Wendy Nichols, area director for the Hartford HealthCare Rehabilitation Network, offers these precautions for staying safe:

When to work out: It’s best to work out early in the morning or in the evening when it’s cooler and avoid working out during the hottest parts of the day.

Stay hydrated: Be sure to drink plenty of fluids and keep drinking every 15 minutes or so.  Don’t wait until you feel thirsty  to drink because that means you are starting to get dehydrated.

Wear the right clothing: Make sure to wear lightweight clothes, preferably made of a moisture-wicking materials to help keep you dry. Sock are an important part of any workout too as they help keep your feet dry and prevent blisters.

Stay protected from the elements: If you are going to be exercising out in the sun, make sure to wear sunscreen and a hat to stay protected from harmful UV rays.  I also recommend trying to run, bike or walk in areas that are shaded, especially if you are out in the middle of the day.

Listen to your body and know the warning signs: It’s extremely important to recognize your body’s limits and not push yourself too hard.  If you stop sweating, feel dizzy or nauseous, begin to stagger or notice changes in your speech, stop what you are doing immediately and try and cool your body temperature down.  You should also always consult your doctor before starting a new exercise program to make sure there are no medical issues you need to be concerned about.

For more information about how to exercise safely and effectively, including tips on how to stay active, please click here.



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