When you’ve got goals, nothing’s going to keep you from hitting your stride. Rain or shine, you’re planning on fulfilling your workout plan. That kind of drive is downright inspiring. However, during these summer months it’s incredibly important that you’re practicing heat safety while you get after your gains.
You should be cautious when exercising in extreme heat because of heat stroke and other heat related ailments. That doesn’t mean you have to skip your outdoor workout, it just means you’ve got to work smarter, not harder! Here are a few tips that will help you stay cool while exercising in hot weather.
Know The Signs Of Heat Exhaustion And Heat Stroke
Knowledge is power, so understanding the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke may help you avoid a dangerous situation. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are actually two different illnesses with two different sets of symptoms both caused by over-exertion in high temperatures. If you’re working out and start to feel weak, are sweating heavily (more than normal), losing consciousness, have a fast, but weak pulse, feel sick to your stomach, or have pale, clammy skin you might be experiencing heat exhaustion and should definitely stop exercising and try to cool down as immediately as possible.
Heat exhaustion can quickly turn into heat stroke. When you experience heat stroke, your body’s internal temperature has risen to over 103° Fahrenheit! Heat stroke is accompanied by a rapid and strong pulse as well as loss of consciousness and hot, red skin. Don’t try to take care of heat stroke yourself. It’s important that you seek immediate medical attention, because it can be life threatening.
Cool Tips For Kicking The Heat
So how can you avoid heat stroke and heat exhaustion altogether? There are actually very easy solutions. Check out our tips for kicking the heat while you exercise.
Check The Temperature Beforehand:
Before you leave the house, ask any number of your smart devices what the temperature is outside. Check the hourly forecast if you’re planning on going for a long workout. Change your plans if temperatures are ever above 90°. You should be exercising indoors if it’s going to be that hot. Proceed with caution even in temperatures 80° or warmer. It’s just not worth the risk.
Drinking water before thirst kicks in will ensure that your body is able to regulate its temperature through sweat. This will keep you comfortable and cool. As a minimum, we recommend taking your body weight in lbs multiplied by .05 or .75 for the amount of water in ounces that you should be drinking on a daily basis.
Dress For The Heat:
Wearing materials that are heavy or dark will prevent sweat from evaporating, therefore hindering your natural cooling process. Dress in lightweight, bright clothes. Consider looking for brands that promote their moisture wicking technology.
Exercise In The Morning Or Evening:
The afternoon hours are when the sun is at its highest point. This means temperatures are most intense during this time. Try being an early worm or a night owl to ensure that temperatures are comfortable enough for you to maximize your exercise.
Avoid Exercising In High Humidity:
Humidity can be just as brutal as heat itself. When it’s very humid, your body can’t properly cool itself, because sweat doesn’t evaporate well. On days where humidity is high you’re better off opting to workout inside.
Have A Cool Place On Standby:
In case you start to feel the effects of heat exhaustion be familiar with places you can go to cool down. Whether that’s a coffee shop or a friend’s house on your route, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.
Be Patient With Yourself:
If you’re new to exercising in the heat, go easy on yourself at first. Your body will adjust in a few weeks. Give it the time it needs, so you don’t overdo it.
Sunscreen won’t keep you cool, but it will keep you from becoming a crispy critter. Make sure you apply sunscreen about 15 minutes before heading outside and bring extra to reapply if you’re planning on being out for more than two hours. Check that the kind you bought is sweat resistant!
You don’t have to completely avoid working out in warm weather as long as it’s within reason. Be prepared by checking the weather, wearing light clothing, drinking plenty of water and listening to your body if you start to get overheated.
Have any questions? Contact us to learn more about how we can help you train!