Warm Weather Exercise Tips

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Outdoor Exercise Advice

As the temperature and humidity rise, outdoor exercise can potentially be hazardous. This means it's time for runners and other outdoor exercisers, to adjust their exercise program to hot-weather conditions.

Shan James, an exercise physiologist and program coordinator at the Duke Center for Living at Duke University Medical Center, advises people to shift their exercise time to periods of the day when the sun is not at its peak, such as early morning or evening. She also recommends loose clothing, along with a protective hat or sunscreen.

James cautions exercisers to pay close attention to the body's heat-related warning signs.

"When it comes to signs and symptoms, you want to watch out for increased fatigue, dizziness, headaches and cramps," she says, "and if you notice you're starting to become thirsty, that's usually a delayed response, so you really need to make sure you hydrate yourself."

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Shan recommends hydrating before, during and after exercise, but what about sports drinks?

"There are some benefits to the sports drinks," Shan says, "but unless you're sweating in the sun for hours and need to replenish nutrients like sodium and potassium, you won't need them. For the regular everyday exerciser, water's really the best thing. The sugars that are in the sports drinks can cause some cramping in the stomach. Pure, plain, normal water is the best thing to drink."

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DURHAM, N.C. - DukeMed News

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