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Exercise Safely in Hot Weather

May 14, 2015 - Public Relations - Information

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals.Here we are this mid-May starting to come out of our annual spring windy season, and temperatures are gearing to go from warm to straight up hot. The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) wants to make sure when you go out for that bike ride, jog or yard work this weekend you know how best to exercise safely in hot weather.

Exercise in warm weather increases our core body temperature, so when we combine the two, even the most seasoned athlete needs to exercise caution. Our bodies cools themselves by sweating, but cooling down gets only harder the hotter it gets. Our heart rates rise as our bodies work hard to keep their cool.

The result is hundreds of visits to New Mexico emergency rooms every year, with Dona Ana County having the second largest number of heat-related hospital visits in the state between 2008 and 2013.

To protect your health when temperatures are extremely high, remember to keep cool and use common sense. The following tips from the NMDOH and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are important:

  • Check the weather: Before you even lace up your sneakers, take a look at the weather report. If the temperature or even the humidity is high, scale back your workout. A workout that feels easy on a temperate day can be dangerously intense on a hot or humid afternoon. Respect your body and your own limitations. The elderly, people overweight, kids and those not accustomed to rigorous exercise should be extremely cautious in hot weather.
  • Drink plenty of fluids: During hot weather you will need to increase your fluid intake, regardless of your activity level. Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink. During heavy exercise in a hot environment, drink two to four glasses (16-32 ounces) of cool fluids each hour.
  • Replace salt and minerals: Heavy sweating removes salt and minerals from the body. These are necessary for your body and must be replaced. So if you’re exercising outside, a sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat.
  • Wear appropriate clothing: When exercising in heat, what you wear matters. Light-colored, sweat-wicking clothing is best for hot weather; dark, heavy clothes can make you even hotter. Gear - such as protective padding or helmets - also traps heat and raises your body temperature. If you have to suit up, shorten your workout intensity and duration.
  • Wear sunscreen: It’s so important for us living in New Mexico, no matter what time of the year it is. Sunburn affects your body's ability to cool itself and causes a loss of body fluids. It also causes pain and damages the skin, so when you go outdoors, protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat along with sunglasses, and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher (the most effective products say "broad spectrum" or "UVA/UVB protection" on their labels) 30 minutes before to going out. Don’t forget to reapply it according to the package directions.

Last but not least: beware of dehydration. Dehydration is a serious medical condition that’s nothing to mess with. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, exercise in hot, humid weather can rapidly raise your body's core temperature, putting you at risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Learn the signs by visiting the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website.

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We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact David Morgan at 575-528-5197 (Office) or 575-649-0754 (Mobile) with your questions.

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