HEALTH

6 Ways To Exercise Safely In The Heat

  • 1) Know The Symptoms Of Heat Illness
    1 / 6 1) Know The Symptoms Of Heat Illness

    Knowing the symptoms of EHI and paying attention to your body are important if you want to exercise safely in the heat. 

    It’s easy to brush off a headache during a pickup basketball game, or attribute weakness and fatigue during a run to something like not getting enough sleep the night before, but your situation may be more serious than that. 

    Headache, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, and lightheadedness are all telltale signs of heat exhaustion, according to Douglas Casa, Ph.D., professor of kinesiology at the University of Connecticut. 

    Becoming disoriented or blacking out are both signs of heatstroke, which is a much more serious—even fatal—condition that requires immediate medical attention.

    If you find yourself possibly suffering from heat exhaustion, stop what you’re doing and move to a shaded or air-conditioned area immediately, advises Michael Bergeron, Ph.D., the heat, hydration, and research advisor to Major League Soccer. 

    Remove any excess clothing, lay flat on your back with your legs elevated, re-hydrate, and wait at least a day before working out again.

    Read more
  • 2) Work Out With A Friend If You Exercise In The Heat
    2 / 6 2) Work Out With A Friend If You Exercise In The Heat

    Having a motivator, a competitor, or just someone to talk to always makes a workout more fun. But working out with others is good for safety reasons as well, especially when exercising in the heat. 

    Bergeron suggests making sure someone is there with you in case anything goes wrong. 

    Your workout buddy can also be the voice of reason those times when you want to keep going, but doing so maybe wouldn’t be the best idea.

    Read more
  • 3) Drink Plenty Of Water If You Exercise In The Heat
    3 / 6 3) Drink Plenty Of Water If You Exercise In The Heat

    Staying hydrated is key when you’re exercising in the heat. Drinking water improves your ability to sweat, a process that cools you down; and it replenishes liquids lost to sweat.

    The three key factors that determine how much fluid you neeare the intensity of your workout, environmental conditions, and your weight, says Casa, CEO of the Korey Stringer Institute, an exertional heat stroke prevention institute. 

    For example, if an offensive lineman loses 3 liters of water in the same time a cyclist might only lose 2 liters, that doesn’t mean the football player is more dehydrated.

    Bergeron recommends drinking about 16 to 20 ounces of fluid per pound of body weight lost during exercise. It’s important to spread this out throughout the day and not consume it all at once if your body’s water deficit is large. 

    And don’t only wait to drink until you’re thirsty, because that’s a sign you’re already slightly dehydrated.

     
     
    Read more
  • 4) Work Out At The Right Time If You Exercise In The Heat
    4 / 6 4) Work Out At The Right Time If You Exercise In The Heat

    Working out early in the morning or late in the evening is best during the warmer months since it won’t be as hot out, and daylight is more widely available. 

    This time frame normally correlates with the average work schedule: If you don’t feel like going for a run at 6 a.m. before work (we understand completely), you can do it in the evening when you come home. And for those on the night shift, you can finally exercise outdoors when you wake up.

    But sometimes, afternoon workouts are inevitable. If your field hockey games are every week at 2 p.m., Casa says you need to be training in that type of heat all the time so you’re used to it. 

    With that said, work your way up to it—don’t just start doing intense workouts in the sweltering heat from the start. It’s okay to take breaks and go slow. 

     
     
    Read more
  • 5) Wear The Right Clothing If You Exercise In The Heat
    5 / 6 5) Wear The Right Clothing If You Exercise In The Heat

    Fill your workout wardrobe with clothes that keep you cool and dry. 

    Bergeron advises wearing items that are lightweight, breathable, and that protect your skin from UV radiation.  Dry-fit clothing, which helps wick moisture and prevents the buildup of excess body heat, is also a great option. 

     
    Read more
  • 6) Eat Hydrating Foods If You Exercise In The Heat
    6 / 6 6) Eat Hydrating Foods If You Exercise In The Heat

    Fueling your body with foods that won’t dehydrate you is crucial when doing any type of activity on a hot day. Bergeron recommends avoiding foods that are high in fat and protein before exercising since they require time and energy to digest. 

    As you exercise and your body heats up, blood flow to the GI tract decreases, which makes digestion more difficult and may cause nausea.

    Instead, aim for hydrating foods that have high water content. Apples, melons, cucumbers, berries, grapefruit, avocado, and lettuce, among others, will all cool your body and keep you hydrated. 

     
    Read more