As we get further into summer and the thermometer continues to rise, it is very important to understand what you can do to keep yourself safe when exercising in extreme temperatures. Here are 5 workout tips help you stay healthy and beat the heat.
1) Be aware of the impact heat has on a routine workout
Just because you are performing the same exercises as you would any other day of the year, stay cognizant about what heat can do to your body. Your normal routine demands more energy in the heat which quickly leads to fatigue. Increased external temperature creates a competition of your blood supply between active muscles you are using in exercise and the skin working to cool the body.
2) Give your body time to adjust to the heat
When the temperature rises, don’t go all-out with an intensive exercise routine right away. You can adapt to warmer weather by easing into your exercises and increasing the intensity each day little by little. Cardiovascular changes will occur in the first three to five days while your body’s sweating mechanisms may take up to 10 days to acclimate.
3) You WILL need to make changes when the weather heats up
Even after your body adjusts to the heat, you may still want to reduce the intensity and duration of your workouts. Some things you can do to adjust your routine are:
- Exercise in the cooler parts of the day. Bootique offers multiple options for early morning workouts to help beat the heat
- Drink plenty of fluids before, during and after your workout
- Wear lighter clothing to help your body stay cool and make sure your clothes are breathable
Trying exercises that help cool the body, such as swimming, may also be a good alternative for the warmer days.
4) Be aware of increased risks in warmer weather
As the temperature and humidity rises, so can your risk for increased sweating which can lead to dehydration and reduced performance. Severe dehydration can lead to heat-related illnesses such as cramps, exhaustion and heatstroke. Even if you’ve gotten your body ready for the heat, sometimes it’s better to skip the outdoor workout in certain conditions. Instead, opt for an indoor Dance Fitness Class with Bootique or stick to the treadmill at the gym.
Pay attention to your body’s cues
If you see any of these signs of dehydration, stop immediately and follow these tips:
- Heat cramps: These are the first sign that you are overdoing it and need a break. If you feel spasms in your muscles during your workout, gently stretch and massage the affected muscle and replenish your fluids. Refrain from exercising for a few hours after these cramps go away.
- Heat exhaustion: This causes extreme fatigue, breathlessness, dizziness, vomiting or fainting. Your skin can feel cold and clammy or hot and dry and you may suddenly feel chilled despite the heat.
- Heatstroke: Heatstroke can be a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention. Symptoms include a temperature greater than 104 degrees and feeling disoriented or confused. You will likely notice rapid pulse and breathing.
If you experience any of these symptoms, stop exercising immediately, get into a cool environment and drink plenty of fluids.
You can continue to exercise during these hotter periods. Simply take precautions and be safe.