Exercise safely in the Georgia summer heat

MAY 17, 2017
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During a Georgia summer, daily temperatures tend to average in the 90s. And the region’s high humidity makes it harder for the body to cope with intense heat.

 

When temperatures climb this high, it can often seem necessary to put your fitness on hold. But this is likely to make you feel even more sluggish and unwell. Try following these tips instead, and you’ll be able to exercise safely and comfortably.

 

Get active outdoors without overheating

 

Whether it’s a walk through the neighborhood or an intense sports practice, keep these tips in mind to stay safe in the heat:

 

1. Drink plenty of water.

 

When it comes to exerting yourself in the heat, dehydration is one of the biggest risks. Invest in reusable water bottles for you and your loved ones, then keep them handy at all times.

 

If you’re exercising for less than an hour, water is all you need. For longer periods, sports drinks containing carbohydrates and electrolytes can help keep you from getting muscle cramps.

 

2. Avoid exercise during the hottest time of day.

 

In Georgia, this is usually from noon to 4 p.m. Instead, try jump-starting your day with a morning workout. If you’re not a morning person, get rid of your daily stress by exercising in the early evening.

 

3. Go for a swim on extremely hot days.

 

This will keep your body nice and cool, reducing your risk of heat exhaustion. Be sure to still drink plenty of water. When you’re swimming, you may not feel dehydrated even if you are.

 

4. Be sure to pace yourself.

 

Try a lower-intensity workout, gauge how it affects you, and slowly build from there. While you’re at it, take frequent rest breaks and stay in the shade when you can.

 

Watch for signs of heat exhaustion, such as nausea, dizziness, cramps, or a headache. If you notice any of these symptoms, stop what you’re doing, cool off, and drink fluids right away.

 

Keep cool by staying indoors

 

If the heat is too daunting, remember that there are ways to exercise indoors, too. There are plenty of no-cost phone apps to guide you through a workout in your living room. And a fitness tracker can turn a mall walk into a low-impact cardio training session.

 

If you prefer exercising with others, consider joining a sports team through your job or community. Often, these types of programs offer inside sports like basketball or volleyball.

 

Find out more

 

As draining as the Georgia heat can get during the summer, you don’t have to risk your safety to keep fit. For more tips on staying active in the summer heat, visit our “Quick tips” page on kp.org.

 

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