How to Exercise in the Hot Weather

How to Exercise in the Hot Weather

The summer heat can be troublesome if you don’t take care and precaution. Have fun, go out exercise, but keep yourself hydrated at all times.

Summers offer the most exciting opportunities for outdoor activities. You can go for swimming, running or cycling. Maintaining the body electrolyte level is most critical when out in the sun. When the body sweats it loses its essential salts and water.

The balance of water and electrolytes needs to be maintained at all times for the proper functioning of the body.

When the intake of water is less the body gets dehydrated and an individual can suffer from light headedness and sometimes nausea. Extreme dehydration can lead to failure of the kidneys and in extreme cases death.

In the opposite scenario if an individual drinks excess water he can reach a condition called hyponatremia. Extreme cases of this condition can experience seizures, nausea and sometime death.

Exercising in the heat can be troublesome affair if you don’t have the right guidance. Let’s look at this situation in detail –

1. Effects of Heat On The Body

When exercise is done in hot weather, the stress levels of the body increase. Extra care should be taken while exercising, as the core temperature of the body increases and also gets affected by the outside weather.

The body tries to cool itself by increasing the blood supply to the skin. As a result the supply to the muscles gets lessened, which leads to an increase in the heart rate.

If an individual is exercising in a humid place it will add to the stress levels as the sweat fails to evaporate form the surface of the skin. The body temperature keeps rising and puts pressure on the heart.

2. Look Out For Warning Symptoms

An individual should be able to recognize the signs the body shows when exercising in hot weather. Under any circumstances the signs should not be ignored. The common symptoms of heat related illnesses are –

  • Cramps in the muscles
  • Feeling of nausea
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Persistent headache
  • Extensive sweating
  • Confusion and irritability
  • Dizzy vision and increases heart rate

Look Out For Warning Symptoms like cramps

3. Precautions You Need To Take

If any of the above mentioned symptoms are noticed, an individual should try to lower the temperature of his body right away and raise his hydration levels. Any exercise should be stopped immediately and he or she should move indoors. Take the following steps –

  • Remove all sports equipment and accessories from the body.
  • Remove any extra layers of clothing
  • Cool the body with a wet towel
  • Drink water or other electrolyte infused drinks

If no improvement is seen in 30 minutes, call a doctor right away.

Drink Water

4. The Right Way to Exercise

Exercising in the heat is not the same as exercising on a normal day when temperatures are under control. Know these few important things before you begin exercising in the heat.

  • The time you choose to exercise is very important. In the heat it is advisable to carry out your regime early in the morning. Avoid working out in the heat from ten in the morning to three in the afternoon.
  • Pick an outfit that is light in color and fits loosely. Avoid wearing synthetic materials and stick to cottons. The cotton will absorb the sweat and keep the body cool. The modern age hi-tech shorts and tops can also be given a try.
  • Do not venture out in the sun without applying a good sunscreen. An SPF 45 is a must to protect the body from sun burns. Remember sun screen is equally essential on a cloudy or over cast day.
  • Drink plenty of liquids before venturing out. At all times a bottle of water or two should be carried along. When out in the sun a drink of water should be consumed every fifteen minutes, even if no thirst is felt. Once the work out is complete a few glasses of water must be had.
  • If possible a bottle of electrolyte infused drink should be carried along with the water.
  • The exercise should ideally choose shady trails that limit the exposure to sun.
  • It is strongly advised to check for a weather departments warning for a heat advisory before venturing out. A heat advisory implies that the pollution and ozone levels will be dangerously high, so a work out will be best undertaken indoors.
  • More than any of these warnings, always listen to signs your body gives out and stop at once.

5. Do Not Exceed Your Limits

It is good to be in shape, but not at the cost of putting your life in danger.  Even the fittest of athletes find it tough to exercise in hot weather. It would be wise to keep a flexible schedule as back up that can be modified according to the specifics of the day. Pushing the body too hard on a hot day, will not be the wisest thing to do. Keep the intensity under control and keep the pushing for another day.

Do Not Exceed Your Limits

6. Cool Off Like the Kids

When it’s boiling outside, revive your memory and play some childhood games. Call your children out and run through the sprinklers or have good fun playing with water balloons or a squirt gun. Or just cool off in the pool and spend some quality time together.

Cool Off Like the Kids

7.  Hit the Mall

Too hot to take a lunchtime walk outside? Take your workout to a nearby mall with air conditioning. Lace up your sneakers and get your heart pumping without overheating!

8. End Your Day with A Walk

When the sun is low in the sky, take an evening stroll around the neighborhood with my husband, children, friends, pet, or even a neighbor. It's a nice way for us to get some exercise when the temperatures aren't as high, and also to relax after a long day.

End your day with a walk

This article has been Guest Posted by Jim Evans, founder, Medical Director and author for Sentinel-Med.  If you are also interested to write for HealthResource4u, Please check our guest posting guidelines at write for us.

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