Things to remember when exercising outdoors in the heat

Local4 News at 5
Published: Aug. 24, 2023 at 10:06 AM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - As extreme heat continues to stick around, it’s important to protect yourself when outdoors, especially if you’re exercising.

Mary Lanning Healthcare Employee Health Nurse Casey Skalka said staying hydrated is key, and so is replenishing electrolytes.

When you sweat, electrolytes are leaving your body, which is why drinks like Gatorade and Smart Water are recommended. She also said people shouldn’t be in this level of heat for more than 30 minutes.

Saying the best time to exercise outside is early morning around 8 a.m. But for those who aren’t early risers, you would want to wait until 8 p.m. You want to avoid exercising between 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., because that’s when temperatures are at its highest. Tight fitted clothing will increase body temperature, and Skalka explains the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

“Heat exhaustion you see muscle cramps, headache, nausea, fainting and excessive sweating,” said Skalka. “Where as heat stroke you see more of confusion but it can still have some of those same symptoms.”

Skalka said although the symptoms are similar, during a heat stroke a person will lose consciousness and the ability to regulate their body temperature. She said those with conditions like high blood pressure are more at risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Anyone who exhibits signs of a heat relayed illness should find some shad and wet themselves down. She also explains where your hydration level should be.

“The rule I’ve kinda always stuck to for myself is half your body weight in water a day. But if you’re someone that’s working outside in this heat all day long, you’re going to want to drink lots of water, but it can’t just be water because you’re not replacing the electrolytes that you’re sweating out.”

Skalka said electrolytes replacement is a necessity and there are some in foods such as fruits and vegetables, but they won’t replace electrolytes as quickly as an energy drink. She also doesn’t recommend eating a big meal before going into high temperatures, because it pulls energy and blood flow to your gut causing your body temperature to rise. For those who have to be in middle of the heat, take it easy on your workouts.

“Probably more low impact something that’s lighter of a workout just because if you’re exercising when it’s high temp, you’re raising your body temperature up that much more quicker which could put you at risk for heat exhaustion which can then lead into a heat stroke.”

Skin care experts said you need to lather on the sunscreen.

“Definitely look for a sunscreen that says broad spectrum on it, so that covers like UVA and UVV rays,” said Ashley Gompert, Co-Owner of Urban Skin Lounge. “A really good sunscreen would have like Zincoxide in it and Titanium.”

Fellow Co-Owner, Jenna Buntrock said people should look for sunscreen with an SPF of 30. She also recommends using a light weight moisturizer. Gompert said Cilic Acid helps reduce the chance of oils being trapped in your skin.