Nothing ruins a good summer faster than a heat related injury. They happen every year and account for a large majority of summer hospital visits. Pro-athletes have their own ways of staying summer safe but here are a few tips and tricks for anyone to use.

Avoiding The Heat
The easiest way to stay safe is to simply avoid the heat and either work out indoors or get out early/late in the day when the sun isn’t out. However, if you live in an area where the temps still border triple digits during these times, this may not work for you. Another idea is to try lower impact (shorter and less strenuous) workouts if you do find yourself in high heat. Switching from a five mile run to lunges and squats may mean the difference between a large doctor’s bill and a relaxing night at home.

Knowing The Signs
Working out in the heat can lead to several serious conditions. You wouldn’t want to be that person with serious problems because they didn’t know the signs, do you? Dehydration produces many symptoms but the most common are: increased thirst, dry mouth, tiredness, decreased urine output, darker urine, headache, and dizziness. If you even question it, get a little water in. Just be careful not to over do it or you’ll have other problems.

Heat exhaustion is the second progression in your body’s attempt to let you know you’re overheating. While it begins in simple heat cramps, if left untreated it could lead to heat stroke. The signs of heat exhaustion are sweating a lot, feeling weak, nausea, vomiting, headache, and light headedness. However, heat stroke may present with a lack of sweating (due to the lack of water in your system – dehydration) red/hot skin, rapid or shallow breathing and a fast heartbeat even after you’ve stopped or slowed down. These symptoms

These symptoms occasionally overlap which makes self-diagnosis difficult. It is important to recognize your limits early on to avoid any serious and long-term consequences. Find some shade, get some water, and rest for a bit. It never hurts to be cautious.

Replacement Exercises

If you’re worried about overheating or are prone to it, don’t worry! There are still plenty of things you can do to stay active over the summer. Here are a few examples.

Simply change cardio to water aerobics
Basketball to pool ball
Running to bicycling
weights to kayaking
or come up with your own fun, local related activities. Let us know if you have any unique ways to beat the heat and remember to stay safe until cooler weather returns.