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  • Writer's pictureRehabon Physical Therapy

Staying Active in the Summer Heat

The summer season brings warmth, longer days, and ample opportunities for outdoor activities. However, the scorching heat can make it challenging to stay mobile and active. With the right strategies in place, you can beat the heat and enjoy an active lifestyle throughout the summer months. These are eight tips to help you stay mobile, energized, and safe during the summer heat.

1. Hydrate Regularly: One of the most crucial aspects of staying mobile in the summer heat is to stay properly hydrated. Drink water consistently throughout the day even when you’re not feeling thirsty. Carry a reusable water bottle wherever you go and refill it whenever needed. Avoid excessive caffeine or sugary drinks as they can contribute to dehydration. Opt for electrolyte-rich beverages to replenish lost minerals through sweating.

2. Plan Activities Strategically: Plan your outdoor activities wisely to avoid the peak heat hours, usually between 10am and 4pm schedule your physical exercises or walks during the cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or evening. By avoiding the hottest times, you can reduce the risk of heat-related illnesses and discomfort.

3. Dress Appropriately: Choose lightweight, breathable clothing made of moisture-wicking fabrics that allow proper ventilation. Opt for light-colored outfits that reflect the sunlight rather than absorbing it. Consider wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to shield yourself from direct sunlight. Applying sunscreen with a high SPF is essential to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.

4. Finding Shaded Areas: When spending time outdoors, seek shade whenever possible. Whether you’re at a park, beach, or simply walking around the neighborhood, look for areas with trees or umbrellas to provide a respite from the sun’s intense rays. This will help you stay cool and prevent overheating.

5. Modify Exercise routines: While it’s important to stay active, you may need to modify your exercise routines during the summer. Engage in low-impact activities like swimming, cycling, or walking in shaded areas to avoid excessive strain on your body. Consider indoor activities such as yoga or aerobics during particularly hot days. Listen to your body and don’t push yourself beyond your limits.

6. Take Breaks and Rest: Don’t hesitate to take regular breaks and rest whenever necessary. Overexertion can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Listen to your body signals and find a cool, shaded spot to rest and rehydrate. Pace yourself during physical activities and gradually build up your endurance in the summer heat.

7. Utilize Cooling Aids: Use cooling aids to regulate your body temperature. Carry a small handheld fan or a portable misting spray bottle to cool yourself down during outdoor activities. Wear a cooling towel around your neck or place it on your head to provide relief from the heat. These simple tools can make a significant difference in your comfort and mobility during hot summer days.

8. Stay Indoors or Choose Indoor Activities: On exceptionally hot days, consider staying indoors or engaging in indoor activities to stay mobile without being exposed to excessive heat. Visit air conditioned spaces like museums, or shopping centers. Utilize indoor fitness facilities, such as gyms or community centers, to maintain your exercise routine comfortably.

Staying mobile and active during the summer heat requires careful planning and attention to your body’s needs. By following these eight tips, you can enjoy the summer season while safeguarding yourself from heat-related risks. Remember to stay hydrated, dress appropriately, seek shade, modify your exercise routines, take breaks, utilize cooling aids, and consider indoor activities when needed. With these strategies, you can maintain an active lifestyle and make most of the summer months while staying safe.

Discomfort and soreness are a part of life. What is not normal is living with pain. If you are still experiencing that pain, it's time to talk to your physical therapist or primary care physician.

Try to stay away from narcotics, injections and knife happy surgeons as a primary option for your treatment. There are no magic bullets, but majority of pain symptoms can be resolved with conservative measures like exercises, manual therapy and pain management.

  • Aimee Cervantes, Rehab Tech at Rehabon Physical Therapy. Aimee is a PTA graduate and has experience at different settings of Physical Therapy. She plans to take her licensure exam after her wedding! Aimee's hobbies are crafting and graphic design. She enjoys seeing her ideas come to life!

  • Irfan Ibrahim is an Owner/Physical Therapist at Rehabon Physical Therapy, Downers Grove IL 60515. He enjoys sunshine and rainbows with his three children. Loves hiking, biking and golfing but he has accepted to live with his mediocre skills. Questions??!! Email him: follow him on Facebook

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