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Doctor Gives Safety Tips for Working Out in the Heat

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As the weather heats up, it may be time to heat up your workout routine and head outdoors. NY1’s Jill Urban reports on steps you should take before stepping outside for a workout.

Summer is here and that means it’s a great time to take our workout outdoors. But before you hit the streets for a run or head to the park for a class, Dr. Robert Gotlin, director of Orthopedic & Sports Rehab at Mt. Sinai Beth Israel says you need to remember to prepare your body for the change in scenery.

So he says often times we see injuries and pulled muscles as a result of dehydration. And of course you can also get heat stroke. So the key to working out outdoors is to keep drinking.

“Very important, even if you are not thirsty,” said Dr. Robert Gotlin. “When you are thirsty you are dehydrated already. So drink every 15 or 20, four to eight ounces of fluid, preferably a mixture of water and a sport drink and that will keep you ahead of being dehydrated.”

Also working out outside is not the same as being at the gym. The heat and humidity puts extra stress on the body, so be aware and don’t overdo it. Start off slow and gradually ease your way in, especially on those hot and humid days.

“A great guideline rule of thumb for being outdoors in the heat is the 80/80 rule. When the temperature is above 80 degrees Fahrenheit and the humidity is above 80 percent humidity, you need to be careful and make sure you hydrate. That is the danger zone of getting overheated and getting ill and having heat stroke,” said Dr. Gotlin.

So, again, stay hydrated. If you take medication or have a a medical condition, you should be extra cautious.

“In the heat our metabolism speeds up. If you have hypertension or cardiac disease, asthmatic, breathing problems or diabetic, your medications can be metabolized rather quickly, therefore not giving you the coverage you need. If you have these conditions, please check with your physicians first when you go outdoors in the heat to make sure you have the proper coverage,” said Dr. Gotlin.

And don’t forget the sunscreen. As for clothing, protect yourself with a hat and look for lightweight clothes that help wick the sweat away from your body. This will help keep you cool.

So before you head outdoors for a workout, remember the heat alone is a workout for our bodies, so you really need to go easy.

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