Summer Exercising In The Great Outdoors

Outdoor exercise can be invigorating and a great morale booster. But always take a few simple steps to stay safe, no matter the season.

In warm weather, check out your local heat index. Listen for any ozone warning that it's unsafe to be outdoors before you make the decision to exercise outside.

When first working out in the heat, start with short sessions, then gradually increase length and intensity as your body adapts. As the temperature heats up over summer months, adapt exercise accordingly.

Here are some hot weather essentials:

  • Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing to stay cooler -- dark colors absorb heat.
  • Wear a light-colored wide-brimmed hat or cap to protect your head and face from the sun.
  • Carry extra water with you since dehydration can happen sooner than in cooler temperatures.

Know the signs of heat illnesses:

  • Heat cramps -- muscle contractions even without a rise in body temperature.
  • Exercise-associated collapse -- lightheadedness or fainting immediately after exercising.
  • Heat exhaustion -- rise in body temperature, nausea, headache, weakness and clammy skin.
  • Heatstroke -- a life-threatening emergency with body temperature over 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

For more information visit Saint Peter's Healthcare System Better Health website.

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