How to work out safely in the heat during a pandemic

(NC) With COVID-19 closing or limiting space in most gyms and indoor exercise areas, many of us have taken to the outdoors to get our physical activity in. But this summer’s sweltering temperatures have added an extra challenge and pose a risk to our health. Stay safe with these important tips from Health Canada:

  1. Choose a cooler outdoor location, such as a tree-shaded spot away from high traffic to avoid higher levels of air pollution. These spots can be as much as 5°C cooler than the surrounding areas.
  2. Check your local forecast before heading outside, and be sure to dress appropriately. Wear loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing made of breathable fabric and shade yourself with a wide-brimmed, breathable hat or an umbrella.
  3. Drink plenty of water before, during and after being physically active. Remember to take extra water breaks as you exercise. Move into the shade, drink water and remove gear such as a helmet or equipment to let your body cool off.
  4. Protect yourself from related dangers. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that is SPF30 or higher and follow the product instructions. If you’ll be in an area with mosquitoes or ticks, use insect repellent that contains DEET or icaridin. Sunscreen and insect repellents can be safely used together – simply apply the sunscreen first, then the repellent.
  5. Pay close attention to how you feel. Watch for symptoms of heat illness, which include dizziness or fainting, nausea or vomiting, headache, extreme thirst, and unusually rapid breathing and heartbeat. If you experience any of these symptoms during extreme heat, immediately move to a cool place and drink liquids. Water is best.
  6. Be realistic – try not to expect your usual performance during extreme heat.
  7. Allow your body time to recover after heat exposure. Spend a few hours in a cooler tree-shaded area or somewhere that’s air conditioned, such as your home, or a public library if space is available there. Remember to bring a mask or face covering so you can safely enter an indoor space.

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