Wednesday, June 30, 2021

How To Safely Workout In The Heat

 I just got back from Washington State and it was extremely hot.  Several of the family got together to walk around the subdivision so we'd get a good walk in but we only made it about half way through due to the heat.  We ended up catching a ride back since we weren't sure it was a good idea to continue.  We all agreed we should have left at 7 AM instead of 9 AM.

Since the predictions for many places is continued hot weather, some of it hot enough to set new records, I've decided to look at ways one can continue exercising in hot weather safely.  The problem with exercising in hot weather is that your body, is that your core temperature increases and if it is also sufficiently humid, you will have trouble cooling.  Normally, your body cools by sweating but if it is too humid outside, your won't cool as well because the sweat is no longer evaporating as quickly. Consequently, your heart beats harder as it works to keep your body cool. 

Always check the temperature and humidity before you head out.  If the temperature is too hot, look at scaling it back so you don't overheat.  Everyone should be more cautious in hot weather. If you decide to exercise in hot weather, choose light colored clothing that is designed to wick sweat from your body. Light colored clothing reflects light while dark clothing can make you hotter just as wearing a helmet or protective clothing can.  In addition, make sure you wear sunglasses that are designed to block UV and use a sunblock rated at least a 30 or higher that is waterproof so you don't sweat it off.  Beside to apply the sunscreen at least 30 minutes before you leave and reapply regularly.

Before beginning your workout, take a cool shower and if you wash or wet your hair, leave it wet so it has a cooling effect as the hair dries.  This will help you stay cooler during your workout. Furthermore, it is important to consume the proper liquids to stay hydrated. First and foremost is good old water but if you are working out for at least an hour or it is extremely hot, consider drinking a sports drink was they contain electrolytes and potassium which are great for rehydrating your body.

It is important to exercise only during certain times of the day.  Look at exercising before 10 AM and after 3 PM because the 10 to 3 time period is usually the warmest part of the day. If you find it too hard to exercise outside, consider switching to a water based exercise such as swimming or a water aerobics so you stay cooler.  If you'd prefer a land based workout, look at moving indoors to a gym or at home if you have the proper equipment.

No matter what form of exercise you choose to do during hot weather, make sure you listen to your body.  If you feel dizzy, nauseous, or tired, take a break or wrap it up.  You do not want to overdo it and end up with heat stroke.  Please take care and err on the side of caution.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

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