These tips for exercising in hot weather can help you appreciate the heat of summer rather than loathe it.
You don’t have to be an outdoor fitness enthusiast to appreciate when summer rolls around. Between its extended hours of daylight and warmer weather, the summer season is an ideal time to get in some sweat sessions outside. It’s amazing how good you’ll feel afterwards.
Tips for Exercising in Hot Weather
If you are looking for some fresh air and a break from your home or gym workouts this summer, be mindful of the heat. As long as you follow some precautions for exercising in the hot weather, you can get in some cardio that is both effective and safe.
Ease Into It
Even if you consider yourself in good shape, you may still have to rebuild a tolerance for exercising in the heat. While having a higher fitness level can help because your body is more acclimated to an increased core body temperature, the hot weather still puts stress on your body.
Take extra caution outside if you are out of shape or new to exercise altogether because you are likely to have a lower tolerance for heated exercise. Your body will eventually adjust to the heat, but it can take a week or two. Start small, work your way up, always take breaks, and lower your intensity as needed.
Keep An Eye on the Weather
Exercise raises your body’s core temperature no matter the weather – it’s the reason why you sweat. However, the warmer you are, the more blood that gets sent to your skin to cool you down. When it’s warmer outside, too, this leaves less blood flowing to the muscles, including your heart. This causes an increase in heart rate, putting you at risk for heat-related illnesses like stroke, cramps, and exhaustion.
Always check the weather before you exercise and set up a weather app on your phone to notify you of heat alerts. You also want to keep an eye on the humidity level. Higher humidity levels will increase your body temperature even more because the sweat isn’t evaporating properly from your skin. No matter what, check the weather for the duration of your planned exercise time, and don’t stay out for too long.
Drinking plenty of fluids will help promote sweat to cool you down while you exercise. That said, you want to drink even more fluids to make up for what you lose and avoid dehydration. Stay continuously hydrated, especially when you’re outside, and don’t wait to drink until you feel thirsty.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, it could be a sign of dehydration or heat-related illness. In this case, stop what you are doing, hydrate, move out of the heat, and hydrate again.
- Muscle cramps
- High heart rate
- Nausea or vomiting
If drinking a lot of water isn’t your strong suit or if you begin to sweat excessively, always consider water enhancers or sports drinks that contain electrolytes and sodium to help you replace the nutrients you lose through sweat.
Other Things to Consider
While hydration is a major factor in staying safe and healthy outside, you also want to be comfortable and protect your skin. Avoiding the midday sun, roughly between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., is a good idea, as is seeking shaded areas.
Choose comfortable, lightweight, and light-colored clothing to keep you cool. When possible, wear a hat and UV-protective clothing. And if you haven’t heard it enough already this summer and every summer prior, always wear sunscreen.