Some of summer’s most scorching days come in July and August. In fact, this July, the earth shattered records with its hottest average temperatures in 120,000 years. This extreme heat, often paired with humidity, can make it a challenge to walk outdoors, but soaring temperatures don’t mean you have to sacrifice the many benefits of walking. As a Walk-N-Talk™️ Therapist, it’s my priority to work around the weather to ensure my clients get the most out of their sessions without experiencing discomfort. Below, I share some strategies I have learned to use to help you stay safe when walking in extreme heat. Planning Your Walk Good planning and preventive maintenance is one of the keys to walking comfortably during the dog days of summer. Since heat increases as morning becomes afternoon, heading out early can help minimize the risk of dehydration, heat stroke and other health complications. To make sure my clients still get to enjoy the benefits of Walk-N-Talk™️ Therapy when the mercury soars, I do the following:
Head out in the morning (before 11 a.m.) to avoid walking outside when the sun is at its brightest
Avoid direct sunlight when walking, keeping to the shady parts of your path
Keep a gradual and steady pace to avoid overheating
Try to choose a route with a shady spot to sit and take a break if necessary
Keep It Cool According to Time Magazine, extreme heat can inhibit the ability of perspiration to effectively cool the body. It can also increase your heartbeat and induce nausea and vomiting, in addition to causing more serious problems. For this reason, it’s important to take measures to keep your body cool while on a walk. I offer my clients a bottle of water before our Walk-N-Talk™️ Therapy sessions, but that’s just one way to beat the heat when the mercury rises.
Drink plenty of water, but be sure to pace yourself
Drink beverages with electrolytes
Avoid alcoholic beverages
Bring a portable fan or spray bottle to cool yourself
Use a wet towel or ice packs to reduce your body temperature
Dress for Success While Walking in the Heat What you wear can make a world of difference when you’re out and about in the heat of summer. Most people opt for lightweight clothing in the heat, but here are some other clothing tips you can try to minimize discomfort:
Opt for light colors
Choose short-sleeves loose-fitting clothes
Wear a hat or sunglasses with ultraviolet protection
Choose comfortable shoes and socks that allow for airflow and ease of motion
Signs You’ve Had Too Much Heat Even if you take measures against extreme heat, it’s important to be on the lookout for symptoms that indicate you’ve been in the heat or sunlight for too long. According to Mayo Clinic, signs you’re experiencing a heat exhaustion or another heat-related health issue may include:
Nausea or vomiting
Increased heart rate
Remember not to push yourself past your limits. If you believe you’re experiencing a medical emergency, contact 911.
About Walk-N-Talk™ Therapy
Walking can be therapeutic, but walking with a trained professional—can be life
I have been the trailblazer of walk and talk therapy since I founded Walk-N-Talk™ Therapy in 2003 as an innovative way to help my high school students to engage in their counseling sessions.
After seeing the positive effects this method had, I created and incorporated the Walk-N-Talk™Therapy modality into my private practice as an effective method that was welcomed by clients. Since then, the initiative and similar movements have grown to be embraced around the world, offering a promising new way for people to traverse the twists and turns of their mental wellness journey.
For clients, this style of therapy has several benefits. It puts physical and mental distance between them and their stress-causing environment and it inspires self-awareness, physically and creatively. The nature component is conducive to the client’s lifestyle and opens the senses to their natural surroundings, be it a lakefront path or a forest preserve or city parks and streets. Clients have reported experiencing a sense of calm, clarity, focus and energy following these sessions.
To learn more about Walk-N-Talk™ Therapy and how it can benefit you, contact me at 773-512-8813 or send an email at [email protected]. You can also check out my website (www.AdvancePotential.com) for more details about the physical, emotional and mental effectiveness of this innovative approach.