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Tips for Safe Hot Weather Exercise

Drink Water

Drink before, during and after your exercise. Water is the best fluid replacement.

Follow these guidelines to stay well hydrated.

  • Drink 6-8 ounces before exercise, every 20 minutes during exercise, and following cool-down.
  • Do not wait until you feel thirsty to drink.
  • Speak to your doctor if you have been restricted on how much fluid you can have in a day.

Watch for Symptoms

Be aware of any angina, shortness of breath, dizziness or skipped beats.

Monitor your heart rate and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and reduce the speed and distance of your exercise if you need to. View or download the rating of perceived exertion (PDF, opens in new window) »

Dress for the Hot Weather

  • Wear light-coloured, loose weave and comfortable clothing. This allows for air circulation.
  • Wear running shoes.
  • Wear a light-weight hat.

Give Yourself Time to Get Used to the Hot and Humid Weather

Reduce your exercise outdoors for at least one week to allow your body to get used to the weather conditions. For example, you may choose to do a shorter distance or a slower pace of walking.

Avoid Drinking Alcohol

Alcohol acts as a diuretic. This means that it reduces the amount of water in your body.

  • When there is less water in your body, there is less blood for your heart to pump.
  • Having less blood for your heart to pump makes your heart work harder.

Alcohol can also affect your judgment. Do not exercise after drinking alcohol.

Know Your Medicines

You may notice a difference in how you feel now that you are on certain cardiac medicines.

  • Some beta blockers may reduce your ability to sweat. This may reduce your heat tolerance.
  • Diuretics (water pills) may cause a loss of potassium. Potassium is also lost through sweat. You may need to discuss with your doctors how to safely replace your body’s potassium. Too much or too little potassium can cause irregular or skipped beats.
  • Diabetes medications may not work effectively in hot weather. Hot weather and the increased risk of dehydration can increase the risk of blood glucose rising or falling, causing hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia. Dehydration can also be more of a risk when blood glucose is higher.

Speak with your pharmacist about your medicines and the heat.

Learn more about the side effects of cardiac medicines »

Adjust Your Exercise According to Weather Conditions

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