Ben Emanuel II
The summer might be a good time to go outside and be active but the hot weather can also be stressful to the body. When you have hot weather coupled with rigorous exercise and a humid climate, this scenario can put your health at risk. If your body temperature breaches a tolerable level, it becomes problematic and could result in heat illnesses. At times, it can even be fatal.
Just how serious is heat-related illnesses? Heatstroke kills hundreds of Americans yearly. In 2015 alone, heatstroke killed 335 individuals according to the CDC.
Humidity makes matters worse as it prevents sweat from evaporating making it harder for the body to cool down. Heat exhaustion comes with different symptoms including fatigue, nausea, dizziness, and muscle cramping. If this progresses and your body temperature reaches more than 39.4°C, that’s when it leads to a fatal heatstroke.
Normally, Americans love to exercise during Spring and Summer. In one study, from 2008 to 2011, it has been observed that the percentage of Americans who exercise more than 30 minutes three times or more per week starts to decline by November or during the start of Fall. It even dips lower during the Winter season.
Though it’s fun to do biking, running, and other popular summer exercises, it’s always a good thing to know how to be safe and avoid any heat-related illness. Here are some safety tips that can help you enjoy exercises despite the hot weather.
Try not to do a workout when it’s too hot outside
The first tip is to not do your workout if it’s excessively hot outside. According to the CDC, from 1999 to 2010, 72% of the 8,081 heat-related deaths in the United States were caused by exposure to excessive heat. As a rule of thumb, always avoid the hottest part of the day.
Cold Shower Before and After a Workout
Taking a cold shower before you proceed to your workout can help lower your temperature especially when you expect to do a high-intensity workout during a hot day. You might even want to keep your head wet which can even help you stay cool during the workout. And after your workout, you can proceed to the shower immediately to freshen up. Going for cold shower immediately after workout can also help in recovery apart from fact that it helps lower your temperature.
Know if you are at-risk
The young and the old are at risk of heat exhaustion. If you are older than 65 years old, you are at a higher risk of suffering from heat-related illnesses because the body has decreased ability to regulate temperature. It means that if you are in your senior years and you have to do your workout during the hot and humid days, might as well be extra cautious. You might even want to consult a health professional before you get started.
Know your limits
Know when to slow down. Once you feel dizzy or when you start getting cramps, these are things that would indicate heat exhaustion. You often hear the adage “no pain no gain”, but when it comes to working out on a hot weather, it’s ideal to know your limits and live to work out another day.
Expect that you are going to lose a lot of fluids working out on a hot day. During workouts, especially during a hot day, it’s ideal that you regularly drink water. Sports drinks can also be a good drink because it comes with electrolytes including potassium and sodium.
Wear Light and Appropriate Clothing
You would be surprised by the number of people who wear tracksuits and sweat suits whenever they workout. If you are working out during Spring or the colder days, then this attire is practical. However, working out on a hot summer day is quite different.
During the summer, it is ideal that you choose light clothing instead. Apart from using light clothing, also stick to clothes that have light colors. Bright colors are known to reflect the sun while darker shades can absorb the light and can even make you feel uncomfortably hot during your workout.
Also, when choosing your workout attire, choose clothes that have sweat-wicking properties. This can keep the sweat away and can even help you cool off.
Choose Indoor Exercises
Lastly, if it’s extremely hot outside, why not just do your workouts indoors and in an air-conditioned room? Doing your program away from direct sunlight inside an air-conditioned room can even help you concentrate on your workout better since you have optimum room temperature that is safe and comfortable at the same time.
The last thing that you want is to experience the fatal repercussions of heat-related illnesses. With these tips, you can do your routines without fear that you are going to be in danger. By following these tips, you will be able to put your safety first and even focus better on your exercises.