Tag Archives: staying cool

Working Out in the Heat

It’s hot out.  If you’re outside for any extended period of time, you have to be prepared to deal with the higher temperatures and increased humidity of summer.  Exercising in the heat presents its own set of difficulties in addition to the normal challenges of a good workout.  There are ways to manage the risk of suffering a heat related injury, and planning to avoid the dangers of heat exhaustion, heat cramps and heat stroke is half the battle.

Plan your workout.  Planning your workout in advance has two advantages.  You can run at cooler times of day, early morning or evening, giving you lower temperatures to deal with, and you can plan to run in loops.  Running in loops provides you the opportunity to place bottled water, cold towels or energy gels conveniently on your route and keeps you focused on only completing one loop at a time.

Hydrate.  Dehydration is a huge threat during the warmer months, so make sure you are familiar with your personal hydrate needs since they can vary greatly with body type and weather conditions.  During your workout, drink when you are thirsty, being careful not to over-hydrate and dilute your electrolytes, which can be equally as dangerous and being under hydrated.

Dress for it.  Wear light colored, sweat wicking clothes.  If you live in a humid environment, you’ll probably want to wear less than those who don’t deal with as much.  Visors are great for keeping the sun out of your face while also allowing heat to escape from your head.  Always remember your sun block!

Slow down.  The heat and humidity add a dimension to your training that makes it tougher.  You can respond to the increased demand on your body by slowing your pace to help keep your heart rate and core temperature down.  Any exercises in rough conditions helps prepare your body for better performance in better weather.

Adjust.  Allow your body time to adjust to the heat.  Decreasing your pace, working in some walking intervals and running by perceived effort rather than pace are all great ways to give your body a chance to get used to working in the warmth.

Now you’re all ready to beat the heat during your next outdoor exercise session!  Want help with your summer wardrobe or what to put in your cool pack?  Ask us!  Info@FitNicePT.com

Beat the Heat This Summer

Working out in the heat can be dangerous, so it’s important to know the signs of potential situations and how to prevent them.  Risk factors for potential heat related injuries include high temperatures and relative humidity of 60% or greater, which hampers the evaporation of sweat and limits your body’s ability to cool itself.  Wearing light and sweat wicking clothing are good ways to aid your body in staying cool, in addition to being properly hydrated with water and sports drink.

  • Heat cramps are muscle cramps that occur during and after exercise, like normal cramps, they are caused by a lack of water and electrolytes, and a build-up of lactic acid.  Heat cramps are a cramp or spasm of the muscle that can show up while exercising or hours after, though they usually begin when sweating heavily.  Prevent heat cramps by ensuring hydration with lots of water or sports drink before, during and after exercise.  Should you get heat cramps, stop your current activity and massage the area while drinking water or sports drink.
  • Heat exhaustion is caused by a lack of fluids and the inability of the body to cool itself with enough sweat, and there are two types: water depletion and salt depletion.  Signs of heat exhaustion include weakness, dizziness, fatigue, heat cramps, and nausea.  To treat heat exhaustion, immediately get out of the heat and rest.  Replenish fluids, and use cooling methods such as a shower, ice towels, and fans.  Avoid any outdoor activity for a week, as you will be more sensitive to temperatures, and check with your doctor before resuming strenuous exercise.
  • Heat stroke, or sun stroke, is the most serious type of heat related injury and a medical emergency.  Heat stroke occurs when the body fails to regulate its own temperature and it continues to rise even though you may be producing lots of sweat.  A body temperature over 105 is a sure sign of heat stroke; others include red or dry skin, confusion, headache, increased heart rate and seizures.  If you suspect a heat stroke, call 9-1-1 immediately, get into the shade or air conditioning and apply ice towels until medical help arrives.

Any and all of these heat related injuries can be avoided by taking proper precautions, wearing the right clothes, and listening to your body.  Take what you’ve learned here to help you Beat the Heat this summer!