Stay Safe in the Heat

We all look forward to the summer weather and the activities that we finally get to do — volleyball on the beach, a long bike ride, a hike at the park, or just a run on a clear day. When the hot temperatures of summer arrive, it’s important to be prepared. Exercising in the heat can be dangerous if you don’t take certain precautions.

Here are some helpful safety measures to follow:

  • Dress in light, loose-fitting clothing
  • Wear a hat and sunglasses
  • Drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercising
  • Wear sunscreen
  • Try to exercise in the morning or after dinner, when temperatures are slightly cooler
  • Start slow and let your body get used to the warmer weather — it can take up to 14 days to adjust to temperature changes
  • If you haven’t been exercising regularly, talk to your doctor about working out in the heat
 

It’s very important to pay attention to your body and know the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. As your body temperature climbs, you could get lightheaded, dizzy, nauseous, weak, and/or have muscle cramps, which are all signals of heat exhaustion. If you have these symptoms, you need to cool off quickly – by going into an air-conditioned building or drinking cold water, for example. If you don't cool off as soon as possible, heat exhaustion can sometimes turn into heat stroke.

 

Heat stroke occurs when your body temperature hits 105°. This can cause problems in the muscles, kidneys, liver, brain, and heart. People with heat stroke often start to breathe quickly and behave erratically. If this happens and you don't get medical attention and bring your body temperature down, you could have a seizure or even slip into a coma.