While scorching summer temperatures seems like a fantasy here in Cleveland right now, warm weather is on its way. And as you ignite your workout, be sure not overheat in the summer sun.
Heat exhaustion, heat cramps and the more serious – heat stroke – can have a detrimental, if not deadly, impact on your fitness routine. As you push through your workouts in the heat, keep these six factors in mind for safe exercise in hot, humid conditions:
Hydration – Keep the fluids flowing before, during and after exercise. Water and sports drinks are the best choice. A good rule of thumb is 6-8 ounces for every 15 minutes of exercise. Avoid caffeine or alcohol.
Intensity – As the temperatures rise, reduce your intensity level until your body acclimates to the weather change.
Temperature – The heat index should be taken into consideration when exercising. Folding humidity into high temperatures actually increases the stress of the heat on the body. It feels hotter than the thermometer reads. When the index goes up, try to work out in morning or evening when temperatures are likely cooler
Fitness – This goes hand in hand with intensity. Training in the heat increases your blood volume, which helps better regulate body temperature. However, this process can take 7-14 days of repeated exposure to higher temperatures. Back off on the intensity and keep fluids flowing so your body can adjust.
Clothing – Wear minimal, light fitting clothing that allows air to circulate around the body.
Rest – Listen to your body. If it needs to stop and rest – do it!
And don’t forget the sunscreen!