4 ways to stay active and safe this summer

by | Jul 1, 2024 | Health and Wellness

Regardless of your preference – be it soccer, pickleball, bootcamp class or tai-chi – outdoor activity is an important part of how many of us maintain a healthy mind and body. But being active outdoors during hot weather can have health risks.

Here are four tips to help you stay active and safe on hot days, and especially during a heat wave.

Plan ahead

Follow forecasts and weather alerts so you know when heat is on its way. During a heat wave, try to schedule games and practices early in the morning or later in the evening when it’s cool, or postpone until the heat wave passes. If you work out on a team or with a trainer, make sure they have a plan to adjust the workouts during a heat wave.

Be aware

Watch for symptoms of heat illness including dizziness, nausea, headache, rapid breathing or heartbeat. Move to a cool place and hydrate.

Call 911 if you or those with you have a very high body temperature, confusion, loss of consciousness or a lack of sweating in the heat. This is a medical emergency.

Less is more

You may expect markers of workout success, like how long you take to run a certain distance or how many times you can repeat an exercise. But try to adjust your expectations. Don’t aim for peak physical performance during a heat wave. Your body is already working overtime to stay cool, so don’t push it. Pace yourself, take extra breaks and hydrate (water is best). When resting, remove any gear you might have on, like a bike helmet, and cool off.

Use the buddy system

Rather than exercising outdoors alone, go with someone else so you can keep an eye on each other and make sure you are each handling the heat okay. You can also remind each other to keep hydrated.

Find more information about staying safe while active this summer at canada.ca/health

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