Exercising in hot weather may put extra stress on your body if done inappropriately. You risk inviting serious illness if you do not take proper precautions while exercising in the extreme heat. Both the exercise itself and the air temperature increase our core body temperature. To help cool itself, our body sends more blood to circulate through the skin. This leaves less blood for the muscles, which in turn increases our heart rate. Additionally, if the humidity is high, our body faces added stress because sweat does not readily evaporate from our skin. This phenomenon pushes our body temperature even higher.

Important Tips

  • Swimming is a full-body workout without the sweat and grunting! You can expect to work the arms, back, legs, glutes and core. It’s also a great cardiovascular workout and can be sped up or slowed down to meet you at your fitness level.
  •  Unless you are training for an event that takes place in the daytime heat, avoid exercising from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It’s the hottest part of day. Generally, the early morning is the best time to workout, especially if it’s going to be scorcher that day.
  • The lighter color will help reflect heat, and cotton material will help the evaporation of sweat. You may also want to try specially designed, “hi-tech” running shirts and shorts. They are often made from material meant to keep you cool.
  • Use SPF 45 just to be safe. It’s important to protect your skin. You can get burned and suffer sun damage to your skin even on cloudy days.
  • Before you go out, drink a glass or two of water. Carry a bottle of water or even a hydration pack such as the CamelBak. Take a drink every 15 minutes, even when you’re not thirsty. When you’re done with your workout, have a few more glasses of water.
  • Check the weather forecast before you start your workout. If there’s a heat advisory, meaning high ozone and air pollution, you might want to take your workout indoors. These pollutants can damage your lungs.
  • A good way to know that you’re hydrating properly is by checking the color of your urine. If it’s pale yellow, you’re well hydrated. If it’s darker, drink more. But do be aware that some medications and supplements alter the color of urine, so this gauge, while good for many, does not work for everyone. To be safe, do drink the recommended 8 to 10 ounces of water for every 20 minutes of activity.
  • Sport drinks should only be considered if you’re of ideal body weight and exercising for long durations at high intensities. Even then, it’s a good idea to dilute sport drinks to avoid excessive calorie consumption. Eating fruits and vegetables during exercise provides ample electrolytes for the body, even further decreasing the need for high-calorie sport drinks.

Do not workout to the point that you start feeling dizzy, faint or nauseous. Listen to your body and stop immediately if you feel any such signs and symptoms – rapid heartbeat, light-headedness, weakness, dizziness, headache, muscle cramps, vomiting should not be ignored. If this happens, sit down, drink water and have some nourishing fruit or snack.


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