Being physically active is an important part of your weight loss journey after bariatric surgery. Whether you're just starting out with an exercise routine or you've been working out for awhile, you may prefer to take your workout outdoors during summer rather than being stuck inside. All types of activities, including walking, running, hiking, biking, swimming and yoga are often more enjoyable with some sun and fresh air. But these activities may also be harder on your body, and even dangerous, if you aren’t careful as the temperature rises.
Here are 5 important tips to keep in mind so you stay safer when working out in summer heat.
Schedule your workout around the weather
Plan to be active during the early morning or evening hours, when temperatures are typically cooler than midday. If there are excessive heat warnings, high humidity levels or poor air quality alerts, consider bringing your workout indoors. Not only can a workout feel more challenging when it’s hot and humid, but it’s also harder on your body and can even become dangerous. Depending on weather conditions, it may be a good idea to scale back the duration and intensity of your workout.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
No matter what type of activity you do, make sure you are well hydrated. That means you should be drinking enough before, during and after your workout – and all day long. Water is preferred for its ability to be taken up quickly by your body’s tissues. In extreme heat or during activity that lasts more than an hour, consider a sports drink that contains electrolytes to help your body refuel and rehydrate more efficiently. Many people have difficulty drinking enough fluids after bariatric surgery, but it's important to find a way to do so, especially if you will be exercising outdoors when it's hot and humid.
Gear up properly
Wearing the right gear for the weather is just as important as hydrating right. Light-colored, loose-fitting clothing will keep you cooler than darker, heavy or tight-fitting clothes. Also choose sweat-wicking performance fabrics rather than cotton. If it’s sunny out, wear UV-blocking sunglasses and a hat to shield your face from the sun. Sunny or not, lather up with a water-resistant sunscreen with 30 SPF or higher. Your body has a harder time cooling down if you have a sunburn.
Watch for warning signs
Dehydration occurs when fluid lost through sweat isn’t replaced. Even mild dehydration can cause you to feel poorly and can increase your risk of more serious heat-related problems. Know the signs of dehydration and take immediate action to seek shade, rest and hydrate if you begin to experience any of them.
Signs of mild dehydration include:
- Dry or sticky mouth
- Dry, cool skin
- Muscle cramps
- Dark urine
Moderate to severe dehydration symptoms include:
- Not urinating or very dark-colored urine
- Dry, shriveled skin
- Irritability or confusion
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Rapid heartbeat
- Breathing rapidly
- Fatigue or listlessness
Taking your workout outdoors during summer can breathe new life into your fitness routine. But although the change in scenery may do you good, it’s important to follow these practices so you stay safe and healthy when temperatures and humidity soar.
Guiding You Through Your Weight-Loss Surgery Journey
The team of specialists in our Bariatric Program are here to support patients through every step of their bariatric surgery journey.
The first step is a free seminar led by an experienced Temple bariatric surgeon who will present an overview of weight-loss surgery and the necessary lifestyle changes, such as exercising, that will help make your journey a success.
If you can’t attend our virtual seminar, you can sign up to watch an on-demand seminar about bariatric surgery.
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