SCOTTSDALE, AZ - It's May in Arizona and the temperatures are already creeping into the 100s. The excessive heat is making exercising outside a less attractive option.
Add to that this question: Could exercising in the heat be bad for your heart?
According to Mayo Clinic, exercising in extreme heat can put extra stress on the body. In order for the body to lower it's core temperature, the body circulates more blood. This results in an increased heart rate and extra stress on the body.
Dr. R. Todd Hurst is the Director of Heart Health and Performance at Mayo Clinic Arizona. He shared some quick tips with us on how we can still be active but also safe:
#1: Hydrate! This is the most important tip of the three. Many visitors or new residents of Arizona may not be accustomed to the climate. The best guideline to go by is to drink a couple of cups of water before you exercise outside. Then continue to drink a cup of water every 20 minutes during the exercise. Also try and stay away from caffeinated drinks or energy drinks to give you the extra boost before the workout. Dr. Hurst says these drinks will actually hurt you in the long run, as they only make you more dehydrated.
#2: Avoid the middle part of the day. Dr. Hurst says that the mornings are usually the best time to exercise outside here in Arizona. However, it is also better to run at night once the sun has gone down.
#3: Wear light clothing. Wear something that will allow the body to breathe and not constrain you.
If you follow these simple steps, you will be able to beat the heat, and continue to maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle even during the scorching Arizona summers.