Guest Author - Meredith Ball
During the hottest months it is imperative that everyone, especially infants and elders, stay cool to avoid heat exhaustion. Many people want to continue to exercise during hot months, which can be done with these few smart and healthy tips to stay cool. Always check with your Dr. prior to any exercise, especially during hot months as obesity, heart problems and other medical conditions can exacerbate heat exhaustion.
FIrst of all, if you live in a climate with cooler mornings or evenings, exercise only during those times and keep your exercise at a slower pace than usual. If your climate does not offer a cooler time of day then be sure to join your local gym or YMCA. Exercising indoors with air conditioning will help to keep your core temperature down ensuring a greater chance of staying healthy during your workout. As my mother recently discovered, elders age 65 and up can be eligible for the Silver Sneakers Medicare program in Florida which includes free sessions at the Curves gym, a safer air conditioned alternative for exercise. Check out your insurance plan to see if you also have access to free indoor gyms.
Second, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Your body perspires at a rapid pace during hot days causing the loss of nutrients, electrolytes and energy. Keep a handy reusable water bottle with you at all times and refill every time it is emptied. Suggestions are to drink eight to ten glasses of water a day and to replenish consistently during a workout. If you begin to feel light-headed, dizzy, or have trouble breathing your hydration may be imbalanced or you could be moving into heat exhaustion so quickly contact the person nearest you for help and to see a Doctor.
Last, but not least, dress to keep cool. Even if you enter a cooler gym with air conditioning your body will heat up as you exercise so dress with shorts and a t-shirt that are made of organic cotton. Cotton is a breathable fabric. A heavy cotton fabric is not desirable for exercising, instead look for cottons that are lightweight and specifically designed for walking, running bicycling, etc...
Be safe, be careful, and be well during the hot months. Slow down your pace, stay indoors in air conditioning as much as possible and hydrate while wearing lightweight fabrics to enjoy and honor your health.