Beat the heat: Stay active, keep cool

As the temperatures rise to the high twenties and beyond, you may find yourself swapping your evening jog for a cold drink in an air conditioned basement. Outdoor exercise may be a challenge when the summer heat, but that doesn’t mean you have to forgo your plans to keep in shape. Here are a few tips to stay active and safe this summer.

As the temperatures rise to the high twenties and beyond, you may find yourself swapping your evening jog for a cold drink in an air conditioned basement. Outdoor exercise may be a challenge when the summer heat, but that doesn’t mean you have to forgo your plans to keep in shape. Here are a few tips to stay active and safe this summer.

1. Drink plenty of fluid. When you exercise in the heat, more water is lost through sweating, causing a decrease in blood volume. If the fluid is not replaced, the heart must work harder to pump blood to the working muscles. This can result in increased heart rate, excessive fatigue and dizziness. To stay hydrated, start replenishing your fluids before you exercise. During exercise, drink 6-8 ounces of water every twenty minutes. If you will be exercising for longer than an hour, consider adding electrolytes your water or using a sports drink.

2. Dress for the weather. Wear light coloured, loose fitting clothing attire to keep cool in the summer.  Look for clothes made from synthetic technical fabrics (such as those labeled “Coolmax” or “Dri Fit” instead of cotton.  These technical fabrics are more comfortable and will decrease chaffing.  Also, be sure to wear sunscreen and a hat.

3. Avoid the midday sun. Get up an hour early to go for a run before work, or schedule your tennis game when it cools down in the evening.  If possible, exercise in the shade where it is a little cooler.

4. Take it easy.  Don’t expect to have a fantastic workout in the heat – your body does not function as well.  Gauge your exercise intensity based on how you feel, not how fast you are moving.  Slow down a little and take extra water breaks to compensate for the rising mercury.

5. Watch out for signs of heat exhaustion.  If you brave the heat, watch for signs of heat-related illness.  These signs include excessive fatigue, headaches, dizziness, feeling faint, rapid heart beat, nausea and vomiting.  Young children, older adults and pregnant women are more susceptible to experiencing negative effects of the heat.  If you experience any of these signs, get out of the heat and rest.  If the symptoms persist for more than one hour, or if you have a fever, seek medical help.

6. Have a plan B.  Even with the appropriate precautions, a long run in the hot sun is unpleasant and potentially dangerous.  Have a back up plan when the heat becomes intolerable.  Run on the treadmill in an air conditioned gym, or swap your weekly hike for a swim.

While the summer presents many opportunities to be active, it is important to stay safe while exercising outdoors.  Listen to your body when enjoying the summer sun.  When in doubt, exercise indoors.  If you are getting tired of the hot weather, remember that it won’t last forever.  Soon enough you will be planning your outdoor endeavors around the endless days of winter rain…

Tanja Shaw is a Kinesiologist and personal trainer, specializing in weight loss, group fitness, pre and postnatal fitness, and health and wellness programs.  She owns Ascend Fitness Coaching, which offers Boot Camps, mom and baby fitness classes and personal training in the Chilliwack area.  Reach her at tanja@ascendfitnesscoaching.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

From the Chilliwack Progress Archives: Fearing an Aryan invasion

In 1995, Chilliwack Mayor John Les was concerned about the idea of an ‘Aryan Fest’ coming to town.

Big Bar Landslide saw long awaited blasting this week

Pressure has been on senior governments working with First Nations to remove blockage for months

COLUMN: Trying to look forward while looking back

Reader suggests re-running a 2015 Times column after recent racism towards Indigenous people

Two prolific offenders from Alberta lead RCMP on chase across Fraser Valley

Men first reported in Chilliwack ending with allegedly stolen vehicle in an Abbotsford pond

Chilliwack physiotherapist charged with sexual assault

Mounties urging other potential victims to make contact

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Tyler Toffoli scores twice, Canucks crush Bruins 9-3

Stecher, Miller each add three points for Vancouver

Zamboni driver, 42, earns NHL win over Maple Leafs

Emergency goalie called into action for Carolina Hurricanes

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Landlord ordered to pay $11K after harassing B.C. mom to move days after giving birth

Germaine Valdez was pressured to move just a few days after giving birth by C-section to her child

Heart attacks strike B.C. husband and wife just over one year apart

Courtenay couple share personal stories to bring awareness to heart month

‘Nothing surprises us anymore:’ U.S. border officials find brain in package

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the brain packed in a glass mason jar in a Canada Post shipment

Fiery collision involving truck closes Highway 1 at Three Valley Gap

Drivers should expect major delays and congestion; estimated time of re-opening is 2 p.m.

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Most Read