Ali Cavill from Fit Fantastic Kids kindly wrote this article for us! Please share with your colleagues if you think it will help!
As we approach summer and the temperature heats up, exercising and playing outdoors becomes more popular so it’s important to prepare yourself to be safe and sun-smart!
Generally the human body is its’ own self-managed system, regulating temperature through sweating. Some external factors can impact upon this sweat response causing dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, with mild through to severe results. Intense exercise or extended play in hot weather or high humidity is one factor that can lead to heat illness with symptoms ranging from muscle cramps, headache, dizziness, light headedness through to life threatening heat emergency and breathing difficulties. Older people and small children can be more susceptible to heat illness however by taking a few simple precautions it’s possible to exercise in warmer weather in a safe and enjoyable manner!
- Maintain Fluid Intake and Avoid Hot Foods: Drink plenty of water and drink BEFORE you get thirsty. Exercising in hot/humid conditions causes your body to sweat heavily, with water loss from the bloodstream and a reduction of your blood volume. That means your heart has to pump even harder to get the smaller volume of blood to your working muscles, skin and the other body parts. If you are feeling thirsty chances are you are already dehydrated. You should also avoid hot foods, alcohol and heavy foods, which increase your core temperature.
- Dress Right: Appropriate clothing includes lightweight and loose-fitting materials that allow your body to breathe and sweat naturally.
- Replace Electrolytes: By choosing a low calorie sports drink you will replace vital salts and minerals leeched from your body through sweating. For best results dilute the sports drink into your water supply and sip throughout your workout. Kids under 18 should stick with water.
- Be Sun Smart: Apply adequate amounts of sunscreen to prevent sunburn, which in turn decreases your ability to cool yourself and causes fluid loss. Wear a hat, rash shirts and sunglasses and try to stay indoors, or in shady or covered areas.
- Use Common Sense: Listen to your body… Stop if you feel chest pain, short of breath, dizzy, lightheaded, weak, very fatigued, nauseated, or your heart is pounding. Parents: supervise outdoor play and limit sun and temperature exposure of your kids.
Extra daylight hours, holidays, increased socialising and festive events will all contribute to your time capabilities being decreased over warmer months so exercising is an important factor to maintain adequate energy levels during this period. Through incorporating these simple tips and using your common sense you will be able to enjoy your workout safely and reap the benefits of a fit body and healthy mind!
HR Consultant and Health & Fitness Expert, Fit Fantastic