Walking or any exercise in the hot summer months requires a bit more planning. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when preparing for a walk in the heat.
- Work up gradually: You must acclimate your body gradually to higher temperatures. Cut back your normal routine to an easier and shorter workout and gradually work back up to a longer and harder workout over a few weeks. Your body will eventually acclimate to the heat. Try to exercise in the shade as much as possible, keep to shady streets or tree lined paths for your walk.
- Wear appropriate clothing: Light colored, loose fitting clothing made from cotton or sweat wicking fabrics is best. Also, don't forget a hat and sunglasses. A wet bandana or neck cooler can help by cooling the blood flow to the brain.
- Water: An hour or two before exercising drink two eight ounce glasses of water. During exercise have a drink every 15 to 20 minutes. Follow up your walk with another eight ounce glass of water within 30 minutes after exercising.
- Know when to stop: Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are very serious so if you get a headache or feel dizzy then stop walking immediately, drink water and get out of the heat.
With just a few precautions, you can enjoy walking even during the hot summer months. Stay smart, stay safe and Walk! Midlothian.