How To Exercise Safely In The Summer Heat
July 5, 2022 10:54AM CDT
It’s not even officially summer yet, but the temperatures don’t care about the calendar and are already climbing. You don’t have to stop exercising outside just because the weather is extremely hot, but you may want to take some precautions to stay safe. Experts share their tips for handling the heat during your summer workouts.
- Acclimate your body – Before you head out for your usual long run or hit the tennis courts during the summer, physiologist Clare Lobb recommends getting your body used to the heat. She says you want exposures every day for at least a week, starting with sessions of around 20 minutes of exercise and adding in five to 10 minutes a day. That’s what elite athletes do to prepare themselves for high temperatures and it can help you feel more comfy in the heat, too.
- Get out there earlier in the day – If possible, get your workout done first thing in the morning when it’s much cooler. Exercise physiology expert Oliver Gibson says anything before 9am will work because any later and the temperature will go up by a few degrees, plus you’ll have direct sunlight on you, adding to heat stress and discomfort.
- Don’t push yourself – Dial back your pace when temperatures are higher, something Lobb says even elite athletes do. Gibson agrees and adds not to chase personal bests when it’s really hot.
- Look for a cooler route – If you can, Gibson suggests exercising in green spaces or by water, where it will be two to three degrees cooler than a concrete urban area.
- Stay hydrated – It’s always important, but even more so in the summer heat. And remember, when you start to feel thirsty, you’re usually already dehydrated.
- Dress for the weather – Light colors reflect some of the sun and fabrics that wick away sweat are better than cotton for helping you feel cooler. A hat is good for sun protection and don’t forget your sunscreen.
- Watch out for heat stroke – Lobb advises that the first signs you’re overheating will be “things like heavy sweating but shivering at the same time, your heart rate going up really high, feeling nauseous or vomiting, pale skin, a headache, and you might get cramping as well in extreme circumstances.”
Source: The Guardian