Summer is a wonderful time to be outdoors.
The longer days provide opportunities for added hours enjoying water sports, hiking, biking, gardening and play.
A sunny day generally helps us feel energetic and happy.
But when the temperatures climb too high, activities out of doors can cause physical harm if precautions are not taken.
Exertion in hot weather can cause your core body temperature to rise, both from the exercise and air temperature.
The body tries to cool itself by sending blood to circulate through the skin leaving less blood for muscles, in turn increasing the heart rate. If it is humid outside sweat won’t evaporate from the skin, pushing the body temperature even higher.
Under normal conditions our bodies will adjust to temperature changes.
However, in extreme heat and overexposure, our cooling systems may fail, resulting in heat-related illness.
Heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heatstroke are all serious conditions requiring various degrees of first aid or medical attention.
Watch for the warning signs of heat-related illness. They include muscle cramps, nausea or vomiting, weakness, headache, dizziness and confusion.
If you develop any of these symptoms, you need to lower your body temperature and get hydrated.
If you walk or run for exercise, choosing an alternative activity during the summer, like swimming laps, running on a treadmill in an air-conditioned environment, participating in Aquafit or a group fitness program is a great alternative. Not only will you beat the heat, you will reap the benefits of cross-training your body.
The Grand Forks Aquatic Centre provides opportunities for indoor fitness both in the water and in the gym. Circuit weight training classes are going on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 6 to 7 a.m. and 8 to 9 a.m.
Circuit is an instructor-based class that combines aerobic and strength training.
Aquafit takes place on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 9 to 10 a.m. and 10:15 to 11 a.m.
Aquafit includes strength and aerobic exercise to music. The classes are easy on the joints due to the buoyancy of water.
If group fitness isn’t your thing than come to the pool to lap swim from 6 to 8:45 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, Fridays or Tuesday and Thursday from 6 to 11 a.m.
There is a lap lane available in the afternoons from 1 to 4 p.m. and in the evenings on Tuesday and Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m.
For more information on beating the heat this summer give Grand Forks Recreation a call at 250-442-2202.
– Submitted by Kim Johnson