3 min read

Tips for Safe Summer Walking

Tips for Safe Summer Walking

A beautiful day is the perfect opportunity to get your AYA steps in, but walking safely in the summer heat takes a bit of extra planning.

Summer heat and physical activity can be a tricky mix. Here are some hot weather tips from the AYA team to keep you stepping all summer long.

1. Walk Early or Later in the Summer

Timing your summer stroll is crucial for staying safe on hot days. Aim to schedule your walks in the early morning or evening when temperatures are cooler. Walking during these times helps you avoid the peak heat and reduces the risk of heat exhaustion or dehydration. Morning walks can jumpstart your metabolism, boost your mood, and set a positive tone for the day. On the other hand, evening walks can serve as a gentle wind-down activity, helping to clear your mind and prepare your body for a restful night's sleep.


2. Plan Your Route

Look for shady spots or places near lakes or streams where you can enjoy a cool breeze. Avoid walking on hot asphalt or concrete paths during the hottest part of the day to make your stroll more enjoyable and refreshing.


3. Make Your Walk an Experience

Long walks can be daunting, but the AYA Walk app offers the motivation you need with its variety of features, including meditation, stories and music, helping you stay focused, energized and culturally connected while exercising.

Practice mindfulness with guided meditation sessions, choose a walking partner to hear their story, or enjoy an uplifting traditional hymn to energize your journey. These features can make your stroll more enjoyable, help you stay present and keep your mind engaged and connected to the Chickasaw culture.


4. Protect Your Skin

To protect your skin from UV rays, apply sunscreen with at least 30 SPF, opting for unscented options to avoid attracting insects. Make sure to cover your face, nose, neck, arms and legs thoroughly. Wearing a hat or sunglasses can help shield your eyes and face from the sun.


5. Dress Your Best

Choose loose, light-colored clothing made from moisture-wicking fabrics to stay comfortable and dry. An AYA cooling towel or a damp bandana around your neck can help keep you cool during your walk, especially on hot and sunny days.


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6. Wear The Right Shoes
Select ventilated walking shoes that allow your feet to breathe. Mesh shoes paired with moisture-wicking socks are excellent choices. Avoid leather shoes that trap sweat. To prevent friction, apply petroleum jelly or runner’s lube between your toes.


7. Stay Hydrated
On hot days, dehydration can sneak up on you. To avoid overheating:

•  Drink 1-2 eight-ounce glasses of water about 2 hours before exercise.
•  Sip 4-8 ounces every 15 minutes during your workout.
•  Replenish with 8 ounces about 30 minutes after your walk or exercise session.


8. Know Your Fitness Level
Consider your fitness level and medical condition when you determine the length of time you walk and pace should take. into consideration your fitness level and your medical condition. If you are new to exercising or have any health conditions that may be affected by the heat, be sure to begin slowly and not push your body beyond your limits. Start slowly, with about a 10-minute walk and then you can add 5 minutes as you feel able to do so. Always consult your physician before starting a new exercise routine.


9. Know the Warning Signs of Heat Stroke
It’s easy to overexert yourself in the summer heat. Listen to your body and take breaks as needed. Symptoms like nausea, cramping, difficulty breathing, headache, confusion, or absence of sweating along with hot, flushed, or red/dry skin, are important to take seriously. These are signs of heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Take a break in the shade or find a cool spot to rest and rehydrate.

If you feel faint, dizzy or sick, stop immediately. Find a cool spot away from the sun, preferably with a fan. Gently elevate your legs about 12 inches to help boost blood flow to your brain. Sip on some cold water and pour it on your arms, head, and under your arms to cool down.


10. Walk daily with AYA for a vibrant summer journey!

Enjoy the beauty of summer while staying healthy and safe with these tips from the AYA team: Choose cooler times and routes, dress appropriately, stay hydrated and listen to your body to enjoy outdoor activities confidently. Use the AYA Walk app to enhance your walks with meditation, music and stories connecting you to Chickasaw culture.

Not an AYA user? Download the app and start walking with us today! Join a growing community dedicated to well-being and sharing the Chickasaw culture.

Anowa chipisala'cho (until we meet again),

- AYA Team

Disclaimer: Always consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise routine or making changes to your existing one. Any information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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