Maintaining Fitness in the Heat
Moving your workout outdoors is great to change up the scenery of your workouts and for motivation, but can exercising in high temperatures be bad for your health? As long as you take some precautions, there is no reason to scrap plans for a workout in the hot weather. Here’s how you can keep up your fitness routine, even on those hot days!
Stay hydrated. Hydration is important for your health, and it’s important to drink more water during hot weather. During exercise, muscles produce heat, which is stored in the body until it can be released into the environment. The environment can add heat to the body through high temperatures. So the body has to keep itself from storing too much heat while continuing to exercise. Sweating is the body’s best way to get rid of heat. As sweat evaporates from the skin, heat is transferred away from the body into the environment. However, as relative humidity increases, the body’s ability for sweat to evaporate from the skin decreases, resulting in greater heat storage, load, and potential for exertional heat illnesses. That being said, it is extremely important to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Even mild forms of dehydration can leave you feeling unwell, causing headaches and general fatigue. Drinking water can help control your body temperature and replace some of the fluids lost during exercise. Sip water gradually before, during and after your workout to help you stay hydrated; don’t wait until you’re thirsty to reach for a water bottle. Also by adding electrolytes to help replenish fluids lost.
Pick the right time of day to exercise. The timing of outdoor workouts is really important during hot weather, as you should be aiming to miss the hottest part of the day. Reduce the risk of overheating by doing more intense workouts earlier in the day, if p[ossible. That way you can avoid the sun when UV exposure and when heat is at its highest.
Dress smart. Those tight leggings and black workout clothes are not the best if you’re working out in the sun. It is proven that darker colors do absorb more heat. Also, chose fabrics that are meant for warmer temperatures and they help your skin to breathe for freely. Pick lightweight materials for your workout clothes, which allow sweat to evaporate, as this can help reduce the chance of your body overheating. Activewear advertised with words such as breathable or moisture wicking on the label are usually the best to help better control your body temperature.
Be sun-smart. Even if it’s not the hottest part of the day, protect your skin from UV damage when you’re out exercising as well! Use a high spectrum sunscreen all over to give yourself adequate sun protection. A hat and sunglasses also give you extra protection.
Listen to your body. Even if you take regular water breaks and dress appropriately for the conditions, you can still be at risk of overheating. Listening to your body during a workout is always key, and working out in the heat is no different. If you start feeling dizzy, lightheaded, nauseated or you are having trouble breathing, stop exercising immediately. If you have access to working out indoors, sometimes in drastic heat, that will be the best option.
Overall, listening to your body is key and conditioning your body for warmer weather is also key! I hope these tips have helped.