Fitness Facts: How to beat the heat
By Connie Colbert
Director, Canyon Health and Wellness Clinic
As the temperature begins to rise, so do heat-related illnesses.
Prevention is key!
Tips from the Center for Disease Control (CDC):
- Wear lightweight, light colored clothing that is loose fitting.
- Stay in air-conditioning as much as possible.
- Limit outdoor activities to when it is coolest, such as early morning or evening. If exertion makes your heart pound in the heat. STOP, get to a shady area and rest.
- Drink more fluids (non-alcoholic). Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink.
- Avoid hot and heavy meals.
- If you are going to be in the heat, do not drink liquids that contain caffeine, alcohol or large amounts of sugar. These cause you to lose more body fluid.
- If you are planning an outdoor event ahead of time, hydrate the day before and during the event.
- Check the news for extreme heat days and plan indoor activities.
- Avoid very cold drinks; they might cause stomach cramps.
- NEVER leave anyone in a vehicle.
- If you need to be in the heat or exercise outside, limit your amount of outside activity and drink 2-4 glasses of cool, non-alcoholic fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat, but remember to limit the ones with a large amount of sugar.
- Always take a buddy if you are hiking, working out or going to be in the heat for long periods of time. Check in with each other throughout the event.
- Rest in shady areas.
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes, a wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (make sure you purchase one that protects against UVA/UVB rays).
If you start to experience symptoms while you are in the heat, such as dizziness, headache, muscle spasms or confusion, you might be experiencing a heat-related illness.
For more information and specific treatment, see what the CDC has to say: