HOW TO COPE WITH THE HEAT WAVE: Things to keep in mind when exercising outdoors in hot temperatures

HOW TO COPE WITH THE HEAT WAVE: Things to keep in mind when exercising outdoors in hot temperatures
A healthy lifestyle is important - no matter the weather. But especially when temperatures get extreme, we need to pay attention to what our bodies need. To build a good foundation and stay safe in the heat in all aspects of life, we focused on the 4 pillars of a healthy lifestyle: 


Here are some recommendations that might help you during the hot season:  

Pillar 1: Physical Activity 
Can I exercise during the heatwave? 
  • You shouldn’t exercise for more than one hour at a light-to-moderate intensity and avoid the hottest hours of the day. [1]
  • Try to exercise in cool, shady and well-ventilated places. Wear sunscreen, sunglasses and cover your head with a cap or similar. 
  • Important: Wear breathable clothing that facilitates thermoregulation. Think: light and bright. 
  • Drink water in proportion to the fluid loss you have suffered during exercise (when exercising, increase total fluid intake to ensure the body loses less than 2%). 
Pillar 2: Healthy nutrition 
Ensure Euhydration status (= normal level of hydration) 
  • In addition to normal water, include isotonic beverages if you perform moderate physical activity for more than 45 minutes or 30 minutes if it is vigorous. 
  • Avoid diuretic drinks such as alcohol and others because of its inhibitory effect on the antidiuretic hormone (ADH). [2] 
  • Foods rich in water can help to ensure Euhydration status. Summer fruits such as (water)melons are good options, as well as frozen desserts like ice pops and sorbets (homemade in a healthy way). 
  • If you don't have another option, sweetened beverages will also hydrate. Although drinks with high sugar content are not the best nutritional option, sweetened beverages are just as good as water when it comes to providing fluids to the body. [3]
  • Within 2 hours after exercise, it is advisable to consume food rich in mineral salts (e.g. dried fruits, nuts and seeds) to recover the loss through sweat.  
Pillar 3: Healthy environment 
Prevent additional heat stress 
  • If you want to prevent the so-called “Fry now, pay later”, use sunscreen, wear special sun-protective clothing and, if it is not strictly necessary, avoid staying on the street during the hottest hours of the day. 
  • Take your water bottle with you whenever you leave the house.  
Pillar 4:  Psychological well-being 
Keep your mind fresh 
  • During these days, swap strenuous physical activities for light to moderate intensity exercises, such as meditation, stretching and activities that benefit your mental well-being. 


OACCUs is co-funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HADEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them

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