Exercising in the Heat

As the weather gets warmer and summer quickly approaches, it is important to know how to enjoy being active in the heat as well as how to stay safe in the heat. Don’t let the heat interfere with your personal fitness goals. Follow the tips below to exercise safely in hot weather.

      1. Drink plenty of water!

Exercising in hot weather increases our body temperature. Our bodies have built-in cooling systems that help us adjust to heat. That’s why we perspire, but this natural cooling system can fail if we’re exposed to soaring temperatures for too long. The result may be heat exhaustion and even heat stroke. To keep cool, make sure that you’re drinking plenty of water. Since our bodies are about 50 to 60% water, it is vital to maintain this amount. We tend to lose about 2 to 3% during typical exercise and activity, especially on hot days.

Also know that it is possible to drink too much water; this is called overhydration. To avoid this, drink during and after exercise and other physical activities. At other times of the day, drink when thirsty.

        2. Take it slow.

If you normally run, jog or walk. If you’re a brisk walker, slow it down. As your body adapts to the heat, gradually increase the pace and length of your workout.

       3. Avoid the hottest part of the day.

Wake up extra early to catch the cool times of the morning, or go out around sunset. Don’t take the chance of heat exhaustion by going out in prime heat time; jump in the pool instead!

      4. Eat snacks throughout the day to keep your energy up.

Have a nice juicy snack like fruit. The last thing you need in scorching heat are dry snacks like crackers, popcorn, or energy bars that require your body to add water. Plus, dry snacks are often dense with calories, which means they can easily foil weight-loss goals, summer or winter.

      5. Lastly, know when it is time to go inside.

Always listen to your body and look out for symptoms like:

  • Weakness
  • Light-headedness
  • Dizziness
  • Paling of the skin
  • Headache
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Rapid heartbeat

If you notice any of these symptoms, find air-conditioning right away.

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