Exercise Tips for the Heat
Working out and staying active is beneficial to your health and wellness. However, exercising in the heat should come with a bright red warning label because the increase in temperature can also increase your risk of injury.
This doesn’t mean that you should shy away from your regular exercise regimen in the warm summer months; it just means that you need to take extra care and caution to ensure that you help your health more than hurt it when working out the summer sun. So, what can you do when the thermometer rises to help protect you when you’re sweating your way to fitness?
Work Out At Off-Peak Times
If possible, schedule your outdoor workouts for early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid high peak temperature times (which range from roughly noon to four o’clock in the afternoon). This will allow you to keep up with your workout regimen without risking the negative side effects that too much heat can create.
You can also work out indoors on super-hot days so that the weather doesn’t affect your ability to get and stay in shape. Maybe you could purchase a gym membership for those hot summer months or perhaps you’d like to take up an indoor sport such as racquetball to satisfy your urge to move without putting you in harm’s way.
Engage in Water Sports
Another exercise option that won’t allow you to overheat is to take up some sort of water sport to stay in shape. Swimming offers a great full body workout and water skiing can be fun too. Just make sure you wear your sunscreen so that you protect your skin from the sun’s damaging rays.
Wear Breathable Clothing
Exercise in clothes that don’t allow your skin to breathe and you increase the likelihood that you will overheat. So, dress for the weather by choosing garments that are lighter and made of spandex or polyester blends.
Some workout wear actually wicks moisture away from your skin which is a bonus in warm weather workouts. And if you’re heading out early in the morning when it is still a little chilly, dress in layers so that you can remove clothing once the day starts to warm up.
Drink Lots of Water
Dehydration is one of the major causes of heat-related injuries such as heat stroke, which can lead to seizures and even death in extreme cases. Therefore, continuously fueling your body with ample amounts of water is essential, especially when you’re being physically active.
If you’re outside for long periods of time or engaged in a strenuous workout, you also want to consume a beverage that will help replace your sodium and electrolytes that you’re losing via your sweat. This is where sports drinks come in handy as they often have the right composition of nutrients your body needs in cases like these.
Eat a Post-Workout Snack
Because you’re going to be losing excessive nutrients through your additional sweat under the hot summer sun, you’ll want to be sure to eat a portion controlled post-workout snack to replenish some of them. Something slightly salty is good because you sweat out sodium, as is a protein to help refuel your muscles.
To help you know how much to eat, use a SlimPlate bowl designed specifically for snacks. This way you’ll get the right amount of food to help you meet your weight loss or maintenance goals.
Pay Attention to Your Body
You want to pay close attention to how you feel when you’re working out in the heat as your body will tell you when you’re getting too warm. Watch for things like headaches, dizziness, fogginess, extreme fatigue, muscle cramps, and anything else that just doesn’t feel right.
In cases like this, stop immediately and move to a cooler area such under a shade tree or even an air conditioned room if it is available. Lie down with your feet up, breathe, and rehydrate your body. Have someone get you an ice pack or cold rag and put it on the back of your neck to cool your body down faster.
If you feel really bad, seek immediate medical attention to be on the safe side. Go to your nearest urgent care center or emergency room or, if need be, call an ambulance. Don’t play around because the sooner you get your body cooled and rehydrated, the sooner you will experience relief.
Exercising in the heat is okay as long as you do it wisely. So take your cool workout clothes, drink lots of water, eat using a portion controlled snack plate and get out there and make it happen!