With the heat and humidity on the rise, people want to exercise outdoors, but it’s important to understand how to exercise safely in warmer weather. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of 702 heat-related deaths and 67,512 emergency department visits occur in the United States each year. The hot season puts an extra burden on the body, so Science of movement and movement Program Director Dr. Jason Sawyer recommends how people can make smart health decisions while participating in effective training sessions during the summer.
Choose a morning or evening workout
It takes 7-14 days for the body to adjust to exercising in the heat if it’s your first time exercising, or if you’re used to training in cold temperatures.
“Before that, you can do a small amount of exercise in the heat, but really listen to your body to allow for proper recovery, and wear loose, light clothing. is important,” says Sawyer.
Athletes should avoid exercising during the hottest hours of the day, between 11am and 2pm. Instead, early morning or late night training sessions offer a cooler, potentially less humid alternative.
“What we really want to avoid is hot and humid weather, because it reduces our ability to evaporate sweat from our skin, which lowers our body temperature,” Sawyer said, adding that people should avoid the sun. You should be aware of the load and wear sunscreen, he added.
drink a lot of liquids
Staying hydrated is essential, especially if you may start training slightly dehydrated.
“People want to drink 16 to 24 ounces for every pound of sweat they lose,” says Sawyer. “If you weigh yourself before and after exercise, you need to make sure you’re drinking enough water.”
For those exercising for less than an hour, Sawyer recommends drinking water. However, those training for an hour or more can also consume electrolyte-based drinks such as Gatorade or Powerade. Electrolytes help maintain a healthy fluid balance and avoid imbalances that can lead to dehydration. Sawyer points out that people who sweat a lot and who exercise for less than an hour on hot, humid days may also benefit from consuming an electrolyte-based drink. .
listen to your body
When exercising in the heat, it’s important to check your mood. Sawyer says he has three heat-related illnesses that people should be aware of.
The first, the mildest of the three, is a heat cramp. These muscle spasms are caused by rapid water and electrolyte loss from sweating and can occur in the calves, quadriceps, hamstrings and abdomen. Sawyer recommends compressing the affected area if necessary, moving to a cooler location, and rehydrating.
Sawyer points out that heat exhaustion is a step up from heat cramps. Signs of this heat-related illness include profuse sweating, sticky skin, complaints of dizziness and headaches, and a rapid but weak pulse.
“At this time of year, consider moving to a cooler climate and cooling down with an ice pack or wet towel,” says Sawyer.
The most serious of the three is heat stroke, which requires medical attention. Heat stroke occurs when the internal body temperature rises above 103 degrees Celsius and causes warning symptoms such as severe headaches, nausea, and confusion. Sawyer explains that people’s skin is hot and red, but dry to the touch, because they stop sweating to maintain blood volume.
Create an alternative training plan
Weather is not always favorable for athletes. Especially on hot days when the temperature reaches he high 80’s to he high 90’s. Therefore, you may need to move your outdoor training sessions indoors.
For those with access to exercise equipment, Sawyer suggests running on a treadmill in an air-conditioned room or using kettlebells and dumbbells. Still, there are many options that require minimal equipment.
“You can always do a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) program called Tabata training,” says Sawyer.
In HIIT, an individual completes a cycle of high-intensity resistance training exercises in a short period of time. Sawyer recommends that he do one exercise for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. The person then moves on to the next exercise and repeats the circuit. After completing one set, take a 2-minute break and repeat the process until you have completed 2-4 sets. Sawyer notes that individuals are getting cardiovascular benefits from his HIIT, and exercise templates can be found online.
“It’s a really time-efficient way to exercise,” Sawyer said, adding that a workout that doesn’t include a warm-up or cool-down takes eight to 12 minutes.