It can be challenging to exercise in Central Texas during the summer months. Here are five tips to stay safe while exercising this summer:
- Be aware of the sun. Use sunscreen and shade your eyes when possible – particularly when participating in water sports.
- Keep surgical scars safe by applying sunscreen to prevent discoloration of new, fragile skin. Any new incision should not be submerged in water until it’s well healed.
- Take frequent breaks and gradually scale up your activities. High temperatures and humidity are risk factors for developing hyperthermia, or an elevated body temperature. Hyperthermia changes the way the body processes energy and reduces endurance. The body will utilize energy faster in the heat and will become fatigued more rapidly and more significantly. Make sure to gradually acclimate to higher temperatures and humidity so that your body is prepared for the specific stresses of your summer sport.
- Stay well-fueled and hydrated. Increased sweating will occur when exercising in high temperatures or in high humidity, as the body attempts to stay cool. Clear water is always a good choice to stay hydrated. Sports drinks typically contain carbohydrates, electrolytes and salt, which can help the body maintain energy during intensive activity, but which tend to be high in sugar and calories. Endurance declines rapidly with even mild dehydration. Be sure to rest when you feel tired, and do not try to push yourself to add exercise time or intensity in large quantities when training in hot climates.
- Be mindful of your limitations. If you are recovering from injury or surgery, check with your PT to see if you are ready for participation in any particular summer activity that may not have already been discussed in therapy. For example, you need to be careful with a fresh ACL reconstruction in the pool for a number of weeks. We are happy to make recommendations to you based on your particular situation.
Have a great summer!