Summer heat

Staying Safe Outdoors In The Hot & Humid Summer Months

Heading into the summer months, we’re starting to get a taste of those warm and humid days.

Picture of the sun

Many of us are trying to get outside as much as we can and with gyms still closed, maybe you’ve taken your workout outside too. But warm temperature and especially high humidity can take a toll on you and your kids when it comes to spending time outside.

"Coming out of the winter or spring where we're used to being outside where it's nice and cool,” says Dr. Matthew Ledford of UConn Health’s Emergency Medicine Department.  “Our bodies haven't yet gotten used to managing the heat so it will be important to consider what is your baseline level of fitness if you're being active."

While those really hot, humid days have been few and far between so far, as temperatures continue to climb, there are a few things you should know.

"If you're someone who is running or biking in a high intensity activity being able to take more breaks, making sure you're adequately hydrated is important," says Dr. Ledford.

But this doesn’t just apply to working out, the same goes for working in the yard.

"Doing things like gardening although that may not be quite the same level of exertion if you're outside in the heat and the sun that that too can lead to heat related illness."

And you need to consider more than just the temperature, humidity and the heat index can make a big difference. When humidity is high not only does it feel warmer than it actually is, it’s more difficult for your body to cool itself off. So on those sweltering days, try exercising during the morning when it’s coolest outside. Doctors also recommend wearing breathable clothing, limiting exposure to the sun, being aware of your underlying medical conditions and of course, hydrating.

"When it's hot outside like this I just had a bottle of water before I began, I'll have another bottle when I end and I appreciate all the trees,” says Hartford resident Valarie Williams.  “Trees are the shade and it gives me those moments where I’m not directly in the sun."

And while you’re kids may be eager to get outside on those beautiful summer days, Dr. Ledford encourages you to “try to consider ways to cool them off. So if you have sprinklers, being able to turn the sprinklers on, bringing them inside occasionally for breaks so that they can cool off making sure they're staying adequately hydrated even if they aren't wanting to stop their activity."

And don’t forget to take care of your pets in the heat, too.

It’s also important to know the symptoms of heat related illness. Signs like dizziness, muscle cramps, clammy skin and nausea just to name a few. For more information on signs of heat stress visit

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