The summer heat can affect our bodies much more than we think when we exercise in hot weather. It’s important to understand the risks of heat-related illnesses and take the proper safety precautions to minimize those risks.
HOW DOES THE HEAT AFFECT OUR BODY?
According to an article posted by the Mayo Clinic, “exercising in hot weather puts extra stress on your body. If you don’t take care when exercising in the heat, you risk serious illness. Both the exercise itself and the air temperature and humidity can increase your core body temperature.”
Our bodies have a natural cooling system. However, when we’re exposed to high temperatures and humidity for too long or don’t drink enough water, that system can fail and lead to a heat-related illness.
For helpful pointers on how to stay cool and keep exercising this summer, read on.
TIPS FOR TACKLING HIGH TEMPS
- Plan your workouts early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid the mid-day sun and peak temperatures.
- Stay hydrated throughout the day and during your workout. Renee Melton, MS, RD, LD, recommends drinking your fluids during the day and then following this regimen:
- One to two hours before your workout, drink 15 to 20 ounces of water
- 15 minutes before you begin, drink between 8 and 10 ounces of water
- During your workout, drink 8 ounces every 15 minutes.
- Listen to your body. Take breaks when needed, and do not push yourself past your limits. Your body will send signals when rest, food, or fluids are necessary.
- Keep a flexible mindset. If it’s hot and humid outside, move your workout indoors and exercise on a NuStep recumbent cross trainer. NuStep’s cross trainers are both an upper and lower body workout, working your entire body on one machine. This is an efficient way to meet your exercise goals on those hot summer days.
- Wear breathable clothing. Your body naturally cools itself by sweating. Wearing loose clothing allows more airflow and helps to speed up evaporation.
There’s nothing better than getting outdoors and exercising in the fresh air. It’s fun, energizing, and beneficial for your physical and mental health. Keep these tips in mind to stay safe, enjoy your workouts, and have a great summer.