Exercising in the Heat

blog-heat-outdoorBeautiful weather encourages us to get outside and have fun, which can often be in the form of a physical activity. When the sun is shining, we don’t want to be indoors, but we still want to get exercise. In extreme heat, we must be cautious to avoid health complications brought on by hot temperatures. These tips will prepare you for a workout in the heat and decrease your chances of a heat-related illness.

The Body’s Reaction to Heat

In general, the ambient temperature of 82 degrees Fahrenheit or higher puts the body at risk for a negative reaction to the heat. When we exercise in these elements, that likelihood increases. Working out causes our core body temperature to rise, as does body weight loss. It is important to be aware of our physical condition at all times when exercising in hot weather. If you feel lightheaded or strange in any other way, end the workout early.

Stay Properly Hydrated

When we exercise, we typically lose two to three percent of the water in our bodies. Our system should always be hydrated, but it is especially critical when being active in the heat. Drink water well before heading out and have a water bottle on hand for after your activity. There is such a thing as over-hydration though, so try to only drink when thirsty.

Don’t Push Too Hard

You may be able to run five miles in 30 minutes, but it is recommended that you ease up on a hot day. Pushing yourself too hard is one of the most common ways to find yourself with heat cramps, syncope, exhaustion or stroke. When exercising outside on an extremely hot day, the focus should not be on beating your record time.

Consider Time

The optimal times to work out on extremely hot days are the early morning and the evening. Midday, when the sun is at its strongest, is the worst time to head out for a run or hike.

Prepare for the Conditions

In addition to staying hydrated, you should keep fueled with food. Avoid dry snacks that will make you thirsty, but rather opt for something juicy, like fruit. Also dress appropriately by wearing light colored, lightweight clothing.

You can also beat the heat by working out inside in an air-conditioned facility! Explore your membership options through North Haven Health and Racquet today.