By Stacey Castille
The Family YMCA
The “hot” dog days of summer have arrived! We at The Family YMCA would like to remind you to take appropriate steps to stay safe while being active in these high temperatures. Our bodies have to work much harder to stay cool in hot weather so you might not be able to run or bike as fast or as far as you might in cooler temperatures. Make sure you listen to your body and follow these steps to avoid heat related illnesses.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids throughout your day, not just when you are exercising. Drink water before you get thirsty! The University of Colorado Sports Medicine department recommends:
o 2-3 cups about 2 hours before exercising
o 1 cup 5 to 10 minutes before exercising
o 1 cup every 15 to 20 minutes during exercise, especially in warm weather.
- Dress appropriately. Lightweight and loose fitting clothing will help sweat evaporate more quickly to cool your body, and light colored clothes and hats with brims will keep you cooler.
- Know you limits. If you are new to exercising, slow and steady is the way to go. Pay attention to your body and ease up when you feel you are over exerting. Remember, your body is working hard just to keep you cool.
- Wear sunscreen. Your body is less able to cool itself when it is sunburned and you will decrease your risk of skin cancer.
- Pick a cooler time of day. If possible avoid the midday sun, and schedule your workouts for the morning or evening.
If it’s just too hot, move your workout indoors. The Family YMCA offers plenty of Group Exercise classes and has a great selection of cardio and strength equipment. Do your best to stay active and safe this summer!