Chancellor's Check-Up: Exercising Outdoors - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/30/04

Chancellor's Check-Up: Exercising Outdoors

When the weather gets warmer, many people plan activities that will get them out in the sunshine and fresh air. Dr. David Smith encourages those who want to exercise outdoors to take precautions.

Getting your exercise while enjoying being outdoors is appealing to most. Dr. Mimi Zumwalt, a physician at the Texas Tech Medical Center, says it is important to be aware of weather conditions to avoid overdoing it.

"I think it depends on how intense the athlete is engaged in the exercise, what type of exercise. I think about an hour would probably be safe as long as the weather's not too hot," says Dr. Zumwalt.

Proper hydration is the best way to avoid heat exhaustion or a heat stroke when exercising outside in high temperatures.

"What's recommended, replenish fluid, mainly water, because sweat's mostly water, 4-8 ounces every 10 or 20 minutes, unless one's going to be exercising for longer than an hour. Then, one can add something like sports drinks, probably diluted 6 or 7% carbohydrates is what's recommended for good absorption in the stomach," she explains.

It is also critical to drink plenty of water before, during, and after the workout to keep the body hydrated. When the heat and humidity are high, such as during the summer months, and you are wanting to exercise outdoors, it is important to modify the intensity of the workout based on your level of fitness.

When you are exercising outside, wear loose-fitting athletic gear that allows air to circulate around the body and evaporate the sweat.

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