Sun & Sweat: Exercising in the Summer Heat

Posted On Monday, 23 May 2016
Sun & Sweat: Exercising in the Summer Heat

As May turns into June and the temperature steadily increases, we start finding any reason to get outside and get moving.

After spending the long, cold winter cooped up indoors (where we may have packed on those few extra pounds we like to call winter weight), the arrival of shorts, tank tops and bathing suits has managed to sneak up on us and is inspiring us all to knock off those pounds.

I know I can speak for myself, and I am sure for a few of you, when I say that I am sick of looking at that wall in front of my treadmill and exercise bike and I now want to take my exercise outside!

There are many added benefits to an outdoor workout to include production of vitamin D3 when the sunlight hits one’s skin, which is important to bone health and metabolic function, decreased depression, anger, and tension due to enjoying ones workout outside and saving money on those monthly gym memberships.

On the other hand, it is important to remember that exercising in the heat can be dangerous if you’re not prepared. Below are some tips to remember to ensure a safe workout when exercising outside this summer...

Prehydate, Hydrate & Rehydrate
Our bodies crave water! This becomes especially true during periods of high intensity activity or extended heat exposure. Water consumption should begin 72 hours before activity by drinking six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. During activity, one should drink six ounces of fluid (preferably water) every 15 minutes and should then rehydrate following activity with 32 ounces of liquid per one pound of fluid loss.

Use Sunscreen
Although the sun has great benefits, it can be dangerous if we don’t apply sunscreen. Understanding the sun protection factor, of SPF, is crucial to ensure correct application. The SPF rating is a measure of the fraction of sunburn-producing UV rays that will reach the skin. For example, SPF 30 means that 1/30th of the burning radiation will reach the skin. To determine the effectiveness of sunscreen, multiply the SPF factor by the length of time it takes for an individual to burn without sunscreen. It is also important to remember that the higher the number on the sunscreen doesn’t mean that it will remain on the skin any longer than the SPF with a lower number and it must be continually applied as directed.

Clothing Choice
One should wear loose-fitted, lightweight and light-colored clothing when exercising in the sun. The light color will help reflect the sun, the lightweight material will aid in quick evaporation of sweat and the loose fit will allow for air to circulate between the skin and the material.

Time of Day
If possible, complete all strenuous exercise in the morning or the evening. The sun is strongest from 11 a.m. until about 3 p.m., so unless you are training for an event that will take place during the mid-afternoon heat avoid training during those times.

Exercising outside can be great, but not if we ignore what our bodies are telling us. Emergency rooms and physicians offices fill up every year with people who weren’t exercising safely in the heat and then end up with dehydration, heat exhaustion or heat stroke. By listening to your body and following the above tips a summer filled with successful workouts.

John Gallucci, Jr., MS, ATC, DPT

The dynamic president of JAG Physical Therapy, John Gallucci, Jr., MS, ATC, DPT, is in demand for his expertise in injury prevention, rehabilitation, sports medicine and athletic training. He has appeared often on radio and television, including ESPN’s award-winning Outside the Lines, Fox 5, PIX 11, MSG Varsity, NJ News 12, WFAN and is a popular public speaker.

Gallucci has made a major impact in his fields throughout the New York/New Jersey area, and holds a national presence in the sports medicine community. JAG Physical Therapy now offers comprehensive orthopedic outpatient centers in New York City, West Orange, Warren, Cedar Knolls, Union, Hackensack, Woodbridge, Princeton, Fairfield, and Old Bridge New Jersey.

Currently, John is the Medical Coordinator for Major League Soccer (MLS), coordinating the medical care of more than 600 professional soccer players. Gallucci is the former Head Athletic Trainer of the New York Red Bulls MLS team and is a Sports Medicine consultant for professional athletes in the NHL, NFL, NBA, MLB, and USA Wrestling.

John has also worked in the Athletic Departments of Columbia University, New York University and Long Island University, and has been a Clinical Instructor at Columbia University, Seton Hall University, Rutgers University, and Dominican College. John is the former Program Director of Barnabas Health’s Sport Medicine Institute and also serves as an appointed member on the New Jersey Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sport. John’s charitable efforts have included a leading role in local fundraisers for Barnabas Health, The Valerie Fund, The LaConti Child Life Fund, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, The Arthritis Foundation, and The American Cancer Society in addition to supporting more than 100 high schools, college programs and athletic clubs throughout the Tri-State Area.


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