Working out in high temperatures can significantly raise your heart rate and put you at risk for heat-related illness and dehydration. Learn how to beat the summer heat by making these simple adjustments to your workout routine.
Exercise during the coolest times of the day
Workout early in the morning or later in the evening once the sun has gone down to avoid the hottest times of the day. Exercising in the cooler temperatures of the early morning or in the evening makes it easier for your body to cool itself and avoid overheating.
Drink plenty of fluids
Your body loses more water when you exercise in the heat. You should drink two glasses of water an hour before you begin to exercise and consume a glass of liquid for every 20 minutes that you continue to workout.
Decrease your intensity
When it’s hot outside your body has a harder time cooling itself off. Decrease your intensity to 60-70 percent of your normal routine to keep your body from overheating.
Wear wicking fabrics that are light and breathable. Synthetic fabrics that wick away moisture are ideal. Make sure to apply a high SPF sunscreen to exposed skin. Sunburn prevents sweating and puts you at risk for heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Stay inside when temps hit 90 degrees and above
During extreme heat, take your exercise indoors and workout at home on your treadmill or hit the gym.
Acclimate yourself to the heat
Start by exercising in the heat for only a few minutes each day and gradually increase the amount of time you exercise outdoors. It takes your body up to 14 days to adjust to a new temperature. Start slow and increase your workouts to only 60-70 percent of normal intensity.
Seek the shade
Find parks, trails, or other tree covered areas that will help keep you cool during your workout.
Listen to your body
If you notice any of the following symptoms of related heat illness stop your workout immediately.
Cramping in large muscles such as legs and core can be a sign that you’re not getting enough fluids. This can be a precursor to more serious conditions. These cramps are a result of electrolyte and fluid loss. If you start experience these symptoms while exercising, get out of the heat and drink some water or sports drink to replenish fluids and electrolytes.
When core temperature reaches 104 degrees you may start to experience cramps, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and headache. If you start to experience these symptoms, stop exercising immediately, cool off, and replenishing your fluids. If symptoms persist, seek medical attention at once.
Heat stroke occurs when the core body temperature rises above 104 degrees. Symptoms are similar to heat exhaustion and can include confusion, fainting, and a risk of organ failure, brain damage, and possibly death. Move to shade immediately and pour cool water over your skin. Heat stroke is a medical emergency and requires immediate medical attention.