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Walking is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, stay fit and explore new places. But when the temperature rises, walking can also pose some challenges and risks. How can you walk safely and comfortably in hot weather? And what should you wear and take with you on your walks?
In this article, we will answer these questions and more, with some tips and advice for people looking to get out and about on foot this summer.
Walking in sunny weather has many benefits, such as boosting your mood, improving your vitamin D levels and increasing your metabolism. However, the hotter it gets, the higher the potential risk of dehydration, overheating, sunburn and heatstroke. To avoid these problems, here are some tips on how to walk safely in hot weather:
Choosing the right clothing for walking in hot weather is important for your comfort and safety. Here are some tips on what to wear:
The shoes you wear for walking in hot weather should be comfortable, breathable and supportive. Here are some features to look for when choosing which shoes to wear:
There is no definitive answer to this question as different people have varying levels of tolerance and sensitivity to heat. However, it is advisable to avoid walking during the hottest times of the day between 11am and 3pm and stick to shaded areas, especially if you have underlying medical conditions where you may be more vulnerable to the effects of hot weather.
Walking in hot weather can burn more calories because your body works harder to cool itself, however you tend to lose water weight from sweating, not fat. Your body also acclimatises to the heat over time and subsequently burns fewer calories. Plus, you might not enjoy, or be able to, walk as far in hot weather, meaning you are unlikely to burn as many calories as on cooler days where you may be able to walk further and sustain a brisker pace for longer.
Advice from the British Heart Foundation suggests that a short, brisk walk is ideal for helping you burn calories, build stamina and boost heart health in hot weather. A brisk walk is faster than a stroll but should not leave you so out of breath that you’re unable to hold a conversation.
Feeling the warmth on our skin as we head out for a walk on a summer’s day can do wonders for our health and wellbeing, especially in a county such as Dorset where we are truly spoilt for choice when it comes to great walking routes. Preparation, however, is key, so be sure to follow the guidance provided in this article before heading out on a hot day.
If you’re looking to get fit and active, LiveWell Dorset it here to help, whatever the weather. Our fantastic team of Wellness advisors have helped thousands of people across Dorset live healthier, happier lives and we’d love to help you too! Register with us today or contact the team for more information.
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