Exercising Safely in the Summer Heat

The UAE’s intense summer heat can pose a big risk to those who love the outdoors. Exhaustion, dehydration, nausea, and dizziness are just a few of those risks.

That doesn’t mean you need to give up exercising outdoors though. Be aware of the following precautions to help.

Be aware of its impact – Working outdoors in summer demands more energy and causes increased sweating leading to dehydration and other related illnesses.

Swimming is a great alternative to stay cool and active in summer.

Timing is important – It is best to exercise before 9am or after 6pm. Step out when the temperature is below 80 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity less than 80 percent.

Hydrate – Make sure to drink plenty of water and electrolytes before, during, and after your workout.

Wear loose, light clothing that keep the heat at bay. Avoid dark clothes that attract more heat. Stay in the shade and wear sunscreen.

Listen to your body – Your body needs about two weeks to acclimatize. Ease into your workout routine by increasing the intensity and duration gradually and take plenty of rest breaks.

Watch out for warning signs:

Heat cramps – this is the first sign that you’re overdoing it. If you feel muscle spasms coming on, gently stretch and massage the affected muscle. Try to avoid exercising for the next few hours.

Heat exhaustion causes fatigue, breathlessness, dizziness, vomiting or fainting. The skin is sometimes cold and clammy. You may have low blood pressure and a weak but rapid pulse.

Heatstroke is a life-threatening condition that needs immediate medical attention. Symptoms include a temperature greater than 104 degrees Fahrenheit, feeling disoriented or confused, a rapid pulse and breathing and flushed skin.

(Credit: Dr. Ruchika Mukherjee, Associate Medical Director, Cigna Global Wellbeing Solutions, Dubai)