Tips for exercise when it's hot outside

During the summer season in the Northern Hemisphere, individuals might be motivated to explore outdoor activities for physical exercise as a means of achieving the recommended guidelines of at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity physical exercise. Activities may include popular options like brisk walking, biking, playing basketball, swimming, or more vigorous forms of household chores such as gardening or vacuuming. However, at times, high temperatures can endanger the safety of such outdoor ventures. The question arises around what temperature level is categorized as too hot, and, moreover, is it safe at all to perform outdoor fitness activities during certain periods of the day without any risks. Considering vulnerability, it’s essential for experts to provide insight into temperature safety for various groups, including aging individuals, young people, and those enduring heart, kidney condition, or taking certain medications.
In a recent discussion with CNNWellness analyst Dr. Leana Wen, who is also an emergent physician, clinical associate of Professor at George Washington University, and former director of Baltimore’s Health Department, further understanding of safe exercise alternatives during summer heat emerged. CNN sought Dr. Wen for advice on precautions people needed to take before outdoor exercising for their safety amidst unfavorable weather.

Dr.Wen emphasized the importance for safety in the sun, especially noting that summer weather can amplify the risk of heat-related infections. She encourages consumers to be mindful of the prediction for heat waves and to either refrain from working out or modifying their exercise plans accordingly due to the hottest parts occurring during the day. Wen goes on to explain the risks of heat wave exposure, including developing symptoms common in heat exhaustion (headaches, weakness, dizziness, and nausea). Should symptoms intensify enough to include confusion, vomit, or other severe issues, heat stoke may ensue (a medical emergency), necessitating immediate medical attention.

Frail individuals, such as those who either fall into age categories of little children or the elderly, and those in possession of underlying medical conditions concerning heart, lung, and kidney inefficiencies are those who endure the most threat during heat exacerbations. Various drug medications can also place individuals vulnerably at risk during heat times — this includes regular blood regulators, mental health medications along with stimulants like antihistamines that may result in reduced sweating and affect our bodies’ natural abilities to regulate ourselves in the heat. This also has a significant effect on over the counter medicines that can possess the same side-effect issues.

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