Exercising in the hot weather

ExerciseGeneral_May13_AAs an avid outdoor exerciser you waited patiently for summer to arrive, thinking about all the fun activities you could enjoy doing if only the weather was nice. Now summer comes knocking at your door, you put on your best workout gear and step outside, only to feel the intense heat and humidity hit your body hard. Exercising in the hot weather can be dangerous. It puts extra stress on your body and, if extra precautions aren’t taken, you could suffer from heat-related illnesses.

But this doesn’t mean you have to abandon your summer workout attempts. Just follow these five heat-beating tips to exercise safely when it is hot.

Wear proper clothing

Everything you wear matters when it comes to exercising in the heat. Put on a hat to protect your head from the sun, ideally a visor instead of a cap to ventilate some of the heat from the top. Lightweight fabrics that can absorb and disperse sweat are your best bet, since the high temperature can make you very uncomfortable in fitting clothes. Your wearables should also be light in color in order to reflect the sun. Sunglasses wouldn’t go amiss, either.

Protect your skin

Consider putting on sunscreen to add an extra layer of protection to your skin. New to the selection of sunscreens? We have a few tips to get you started. Don’t rely on low-quality formula to prevent sunburn. Instead, invest in the ones with higher SPF – they offer more protection from the sun’s harmful radiation. Also, go for the oil-free and sweat-proof formula that won’t interfere with your body’s ability to cool itself down, or irritate your skin.

Acclimatize first

Even the fittest exercisers have a hard time working out in the hot and humid weather. When the weather warms up, you need to acclimatize yourself to the temperature change by going slowly. Start by exercising for a few minutes each day, and gradually increase the time you spend outdoors in order to accustom your body’s mechanisms to the heat. Summer’s not going anywhere anytime soon, so there’s no need to rush yourself.

Stay hydrated

Maintaining water balance is an important consideration during exercise. You lose a lot of body fluids during a workout session, and therefore need to drink water to dissipate heat and maintain a normal body temperature. Carry a bottle of water with you at all times to hydrate yourself before, during, and after your outdoor exercise.

Timing is key

You can either rise early to catch the cool of the morning, or go out after sunset. But whatever you do, don’t exercise outdoors in the middle of the day! The heat from the sun is most intense during the day, and it is sure to drain your energy and slow you down. If you really feel the need to exercise under the bright hot sun, jump into the pool to avoid the heat, humidity, and dehydration.

When the weather is hot, it isn’t the time to take risks. The most important advice we can give is to listen to your body. If you feel dizzy or nauseous, or experience other signs of discomfort, take those as a warning that your body needs some rest – either get into the shade or go back indoors.

Want to add exercise to your daily routine? Get in touch today for advice from our fitness experts.

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