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

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