Exercising in Hot Weather: Tips to Keep Your Body from Overheating

Exercising increases our body temperature which is why we perspire when we work out. But during hot weather, our body’s natural cooling system may get overworked and fail, resulting in exhaustion or even heat stroke. It gets worse when the humidity is high because the sweat doesn’t evaporate right away, increasing your body temperature even more.

This is especially true if you live in an area where the temperatures can climb above 100F in the summer. The hottest area in the US is none other than Death Valley, California. Phoenix experiences hot temperatures from May to September, while Las Vegas even reached 117 F on several occasions.

Naturally, people should be exercising indoors when it’s hot outside. But if your gym is a bit warm in the summer, here are some tips to help prevent your body from overheating:

1. Drink lots of water.

About 1-2 hours before exercising, you should drink a total of 1000ml of water. And depending on how long you plan to exercise, make sure to drink at least 2-3 glasses of cold water or sports drinks. You’ll need to drink more than this if you plan on doing a long run as your workout for the day. You’ll know if your body is properly hydrated by checking the color of your pee. Pale yellow means you’re well hydrated, darker yellow or even orange-yellow means you’re not.

2. Change up your workout.

You need to be able to change or adjust your workout if the weather calls for it. For example, if you usually run for 30 minutes a day, you might want to jog instead if it’s hot outside. Or if the temperature is really high, then run on a treadmill instead of on the pavement. Most gyms like Equinox Fitness have sufficient cooling systems to ensure you don’t feel uncomfortably hot inside unless of course if you’re doing hot yoga.

3. Know when to exercise.

Usually, the hottest time of the day is around noon so you’re better off not exercising during this time. Aim to wake up early in the morning to catch the cool air or perhaps after sun set.

4. Wear the right clothing.

Thick dark clothing will absorb heat and will feel like you’re wrapped in a warm blanket during summer. Wear loose fitting, light colored and light fabric clothing so that air can circulate properly in your body and help you stay cool.

5. Use sunscreen.

Whether you are going to train outside or if your gym has filled with glass walls and enclosures, if you’re going to be exposed to the sun, then you need sunscreen. If exercising outdoors, make sure you also wear a cap or a hat.

6. Get sufficient nutrition.

You’ll need to eat something an hour before your workout such as an energy bar or some banana and peanut butter. And then it would also help if you bring some light snacks with you like fruit, crackers or chocolate. The more you sweat, the more calories/energy you burn so eating something during your workout will help you stay energized.

Knowing your limits is important if you’re planning to exercise on a hot day. No matter how important your fitness is to you, you need to be able to make the right decision on whether to workout or not, and pay attention to what your body is telling you. If you feel dizzy, weak, or lightheaded, it may be time to stop. This is particularly true if you notice yourself becoming pale and your head feels like it’s about to explode. Missing a few days of exercise is not going to wreak havoc to your fitness. On the other hand, forcing yourself to exercise even when you’re not feeling ok would just be foolish and even dangerous.

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