Beat The Heat – How to Exercise In Hot Weather Without Getting Heat Exhaustion

When it’s hot and sticky outside, the last thing you want to do is tackle a workout. Many people flock outside in warm weather to jog, play outsid,e or even do yard work. But when the temperature starts rising, these so-called “easy” exercises become a HUGE physical undertaking. If your body’s temperature regulation system is overtaxed, you’re at risk of developing a heat-related illness. Here’s what you can do to beat the heat: 

Stay Hydrated Out There 

The higher the temperature increases, the greater the chance for dehydration. When you lose mass amounts of water, everything from your perception and fatigue to short-term memory can be seriously affected. Make sure to consume 16 to 24 ounces of water one to two hours before exercise and 4 to 6 ounces of water every 15 to 20 minutes during your workout. 

A good day to check if you’ve consumed your recommended glasses of water or if you need to start chugging, you simply pinch the skin on the back of your hand with your thumb and index finger. Hold for a few seconds and then let go. If the skin bounces back immediately, you are hydrated. 

Check The Weather 

A good rule of thumb is to check the weather the night before. If the weather is going to be super hot, you could plan to get up early in the morning or late in the evening during the cooler parts of the day.

If the temperature or humidity is high, scale back your workout. A workout that feels easy on a cooler day can be dangerous on a hot, humid afternoon. Respect your body and your own limitations. People with larger bodies, the elderly, kids and those not accustomed to rigorous exercise should be extremely cautious in hot weather. 

Toss That Electrolyte Beverage 

Our sweat has electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and calcium. If you have an intense workout, your body can become depleted of those things. But before you reach for a sugary, electrolyte-rich sip like Gatorade, think twice. “Hydration is key, but you don’t need a heavy electrolyte beverage during your workout,” says Joseph Holder, Nike master trainer and health consultant. “You can get that from food and your glycogen stores will be good to go.” 

To focus your post-sweat efforts on eating smart, you should be getting between a 1:2 and 1:4 ratio of protein to carbs to help replenish muscle stores. 

Don’t Dress Like You’re From Antarctica 

When exercising in heat, what you wear 100% matters. Light-colored, and dri-fit clothing is best for hot weather; dark, heavy clothes can make you even hotter. Gear — such as protective padding or helmets — also trap heat and raise your body temperature. If you have to suit up, shorten your workout intensity or duration. 

Make sure to protect your eyes by wearing UV-blocking sunglasses and don’t forget the sunscreen. Choose water-resistant sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30 or higher (the most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels), and apply it 30 minutes before going out. Continue to reapply the sunscreen according to the package directions. If you get sunburn this can decrease your body’s ability to cool itself off. 

We care about your health! At The Center for Integrative and Traditional Medicine, we focus on the root causes of secondary medical conditions; integrating modern medicine, holistic practices and supplemental therapy to spark healing and to prevent disease. Give us a call today, (201) 291 0401.