Exercising Safely in Hot Weather

Many people enjoy outdoor activities—walking, gardening, playing tennis. As the weather gets warmer, it’s important to play it safe when playing outside. Too much heat can be risky for older adults and people with health problems. Being hot for too long can cause hyperthermia—a heat-related illness that includes heat stroke and heat exhaustion.Senior woman running outdoors

Go4Life has safety tips for those who want to be active when it’s hot outside:

  • Check the weather forecast. If it’s very hot or humid, exercise inside with a Go4Life DVD or walk in an air-conditioned building like a shopping mall.
  • Drink plenty of liquids. Water and fruit juices are good options. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. If your doctor has told you to limit liquids, ask what to do when it is very hot outside.
  • Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothes in natural fabrics.
  • Dress in layers so you can remove clothing as your body warms up from activity.

Get medical help right away if you think someone might have a heat-related illness. Watch for these signs:

  • Fainting, headache, dizziness, or nausea
  • Body temperature over 105°F
  • A change in behavior—confusion, agitation, being grouchy, acting strangely, staggering, or being unresponsive
  • Dry, flushed skin and a strong rapid pulse or a slow weak pulse
  • Not sweating even if it is hot

Quick Tip

For more hot weather tips, see the National Institute on Aging AgePage Hyperthermia: Too Hot for Your Health.

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