Safe Exercise Guidelines for Extreme Heat
Leading a physically active lifestyle is essential for good health. Sometimes, however, a workout may turn into a trip to the emergency care department. During the summer months, taking some precautions while working out can help you reduce your risk of a heat-related illness such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke.
Schedule Your Workouts Carefully
In Las Vegas, summer temperatures can easily soar to 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. It’s advisable to work out during the early morning or evening hours to avoid the most intense heat. Additionally, it’s a good idea to acclimate your body to the heat gradually. You may wish to consider shortening your workouts for the first one to two weeks. Another way to beat the heat is to join a gym and work out indoors in an air conditioned area, particularly if you’re unable to schedule your workouts for the cooler hours of the day.
Prepare for Your Workouts
If you have medical conditions or you’re taking medications such as antidepressants, muscle relaxants, antipsychotics, or antihistamines, you may wish to see your doctor before working out during the summer months. You could schedule a physical exam and ask your physician if it’s safe for you to work out in extreme heat. Another way to prepare for a safe workout this summer is to dress appropriately. Wear workout clothes made from synthetic fabrics such as polyester. Choose loose-fitting clothes that are lightly colored.
Stay Well Hydrated
Drinking plenty of water before, during, and after your workouts is essential for preventing heat-related illnesses and avoiding a trip to the emergency care department. As a general rule of thumb, try to drink enough water so that your urine is very lightly colored. If your urine is dark, you aren’t drinking enough. If you enjoy very intense or long workouts, it may be a good idea to consume sports drinks to replace your electrolytes along with your fluids.
If you or a loved one does suffer a heat-related illness this summer, the emergency care physicians at Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center are here to help. Our emergency care team saves lives 24/7 at our state-of-the-art healthcare facility in Las Vegas. Please call 911 if you think you’re having a medical emergency; otherwise, contact our community hospital at (702) 731-8000 for general information or to request a physician referral.