Healthbeat: Staying safe while exercising in the heat

Healthbeat

SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — It’s been a hot and humid week as we head into the dog days of summer but despite that, some of us still want to exercise outdoors.

If you’re among them, you’ve got to take precautions to prevent heat-related illness or injury.

When the heat and humidity are stifling, it may not sound appealing to get outdoor exercise, but some people don’t mind.

“I typically run, yeah I would say five to six days a week,” said Kevin Macejkovic, runner from Waverly Township resident.

The heat also doesn’t scare away a 71-year-old bicyclist either from his daily ride along the Heritage Trail.

“I’ll sweat a lot more, you know, my shirt gets a little soaked,” said Dennis Adams, bicyclist from Clarks Summit.

But on summer days that sizzle, it could be dangerous if you take that outdoor exercise for granted and you don’t take precautions. It starts with what time of day you’re getting in that outdoor workout.

“The exercise, if it’s particularly of high intensity, is done at a time when the sun isn’t so bright and it’s not shining down upon and it’s not so hot so that we prevent dehydration,” said Dr. Rami Hashish, PhD, DPT, biomechanics/injury expert.

Dehydration can happen as strenuous exercise combined with heat and humidity, increase your core body temperature and trigger a heat-related illness or injury. That’s where drinking plenty of water comes into play.

Longtime high school basketball coach Jack Lyons knows a thing or two about preventing dehydration.

“I drink a lot of liquid before I come and then obviously you drink a lot of liquid after to keep hydrated,” said Lyons.

That means bumping up the typical 8 to 12 cups of water Dr. Rami says you should drink every day anyway.

“Every 10 minutes of higher intensity or moderate intensity exercise, I typically suggest at least an additional cup of water,” said Dr. Hashish.

Preventing a heat-related illness like heat stroke should be paramount. Know the symptoms including: nausea, vomiting, headaches, fainting and cold, clammy skin.

So keep on exercising, but be smart about it.

“You’ve just got to make time for it. It’s a priority. You know, to me, to live a healthy, active lifestyle you’ve got to make it just one thing you’re going to do,” said Macejkovic.

Exercising in high heat and humidity puts extra stress on your body. It’s why medical experts urge you to have a summer exercise game plan to protect yourself inside and out.

It’s always a good thing to make sure you’re hydrating, before you feel thirsty. Also, be aware of heat advisories to change your exercise plan accordingly.

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