Play it Cool When Exercising

August 3, 2011
RheumatologyNetwork Staff

Patient Guide for patients exercising in the heat

Jogging, swimming, baseball, tennis, golf-all are part of the joys of summer. To help your patients keep cool and safe when the mercury rises this summer, the Mayo Clinic (www.MayoClinic.com) offers the following practical suggestions:
•Keep an eye on the weather and take note of any heat warnings that might be in effect during your activity.
•Get used to the heat gradually. If you usually exercise indoors or in a cooler climate, take it easy for 1 or 2 weeks until your body has had time to adjust to the increased demands of hot-weather activity. Increase the intensity of training only after you’ve become acclimated.
•Adjust the workout to your fitness level. If exercise is new to you, plan frequent breaks in hot weather until you become more conditioned.
•Wear appropriate clothing. Dress in layers so that you can shed clothing as you heat up. If possible, choose loose-fitting moisture-wicking or other technical garb that breathes and keeps you cool as you perspire. Wear a hat to protect your face from the sun.
•Always have hydration available at all times, and don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink. If you are going to be exercising for a long time or sweating profusely, consider a sports drink instead of water to replace sodium, potassium, and chloride lost through sweating.
•Exercise in the early morning or evening, rather than mid-day, for cooler temperatures.
•Wear sunscreen to avoid a burn, which would decrease your body’s ability to cool down.