Many people around the world are experiencing the rising temperatures of summer. During the sunny season, people spend more time outdoors, flocking to beaches, basketball courts, lakes, or jogging through the neighborhood. When exercising in elevated temperatures, though, the body’s temperature regulation system is easily overworked. This increases the risk of heat-related illness, which can result in hospitalization.
How Does Heat Affect The Body?
When you exercise in hotter weather, you put extra stress on the body. The air temperature and humidity level can increase the body’s internal core temperature, especially if you exercise outside. In order to cool itself down, the body has to send more blood to circulate through the skin. As a result, your muscles receive less blood and your heart rate increases. High humidity levels also stress the body because sweat cannot easily evaporate from the skin. Sweating in a humid environment also increases the risk of dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.
Pay Attention To The Warning Signs
Please understand that spending time outdoors in the heat can induce heat-related illness. The more energy you exert, the more you have to pay attention to warning signs. Ignoring the signs and symptoms may result in a medical emergency. For this reason, pay attention to the following signs when you exercise in the heat:
- Muscle cramps
- Excessive sweating
- Nausea or vomiting
- Increased Heart Rate
- Low Blood Pressure
Drink Plenty Of Fluids
Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink water. By that point, you are already in a mild state of dehydration. If you want to exercise safely in the heat, you have to help the body cool down by drinking water frequently. Research states that you should drink 16-24 ounces of water a couple hours before you head into the sun. Additionally, don’t take salt tablets because they can increase the risk of dehydration. Weigh yourself before and after you workout in the heat. For every pound you are down, drink two to three cups of water.
Keep An Eye On The Weather
It may look sunny and beautiful outside, but it may be hotter than you realize. If you exercise in warmer weather, the body has to work extra hard to decrease the rising core temperature. This is true for even the most seasoned of athletes. The body cools itself down by sweating, but cooling down is difficult in humid weather, as your sweat can’t evaporate off the skin as easily. Before you exercise outside, look at the weather report. If the temperature or humidity is high, scale back your workout. A low-impact workout may be easy on a temperate day, but difficult on a hot day. Respect the weather to keep your body healthy.
Wear The Right Clothing
When you get ready to workout, don your lightest, well-ventilated clothing. Synthetic fibers like nylon, polyester, and lycra can easily absorb sweat, which allows for evaporation. If you exercise in direct sunlight, wear light colors because they reflect heat better than darker colors do. Wear a hat and soak it in water if necessary. The head is the most important body part to keep cool!
Know Your Limits
Many people want to push themselves during their workouts, but exercise caution when working out in hotter temperatures. Respect your limitations because it’s easy to overdo it in the heat. This is because you are more vulnerable to dizziness, nausea, and heat exhaustion. Always try to take your breaks in cooler, shaded locations to avoid jeopardizing your health and fitness goals.
Avoid The Hottest Part Of The Day
The goal is to avoid intense heat when the temperatures are highest. For the most part, the hottest temperatures tend to occur between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., but this may vary upon location. Watch the weather forecast and try to exercise earlier in the morning or in the evening. Humidity can work against you as well, even if the temperature is not incredibly high. Exercise caution and avoid intense heat to keep your body healthy and cool.