Nothing beats the feeling of sweat pouring down all over your body during an intense outdoor workout. Exercising outdoors is beneficial to your health. You’ll be able to sweat out with the help of sun’s soothing warmth while inhaling fresh air.
Working out in the heat is okay, as long as you’re aware of your body’s limitations. If you work out in a very hot and humid weather, however, the idea may backfire on you. Health hazards such as dehydration, heat stroke, and heat exhaustion may get in the way if you push your body to its limits.
If you want to still feel the burn in your muscles without being sick, here are five ways you can work out safely in hot weather.
1. Acclimate to the heat
Sooner or later, the winter will pass and you have to deal with hot atmosphere once again. If you are used to working out outdoors but the climate is becoming hotter than usual, what you can do first is to acclimate. Acclimating to heat results in physiological changes within your body which make it much easier for you to work, play or exercise in a very hot climate.
Barry Franklin, Ph.D., director of preventive cardiology at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak Minnesota suggests taking 15-minute walks outside for four to 14 days to allow your body to cope with extreme heat. After acclimating, you can go back to your full workout.
Doha, Qatar. A few days to acclimate in the desert heat before the #world50kchampionships
— @tommy_rivs (@tommy_rivs) November 7, 2016
2. Wear the right gear and clothing
What you wear matters. If you’re working out in a hot weather, go for lightweight and sweat-wicking clothing in lighter colors. Never wear heavy and dark-colored clothes for these quickly absorb heat and make you feel uncomfortably wrapped in a warm blanket. You should also go for loose clothes to enable more air to circulate all over your skin and cool your body.
Aside from these stay-cool apparels, try to invest in sportswear designed for exercising in hot weather. Fitness brands are developing innovative fabrics that work with your body to help cool it down like sportswear and intimate apparels with double-sided fabrics that wick moisture from your skin, running caps and UV-blocking sunglasses.
Since sunburn decreases the body’s ability to cool itself, applying sunscreen is more than just a cosmetic move. Don’t forget to apply water-resistant sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30 or higher 30 minutes before going out. Be mindful that even when you’re in a cool, aquatic environment, you can still be affected by harsh sun damage. If you tend to swim outdoors, don’t forget to wear high-quality rash guards and swim caps to protect your sensitive skin and hair from sunburn and damage.
3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Sweating enables you to lose a few pounds of water weight and it is important to replenish your water loss with enough fluids. You are likely to get dehydrated as the weather heats up. It would be a good move to weigh yourself before and after working out and replace each pound of weight loss with three cups of water.
If you exercise for a long duration at a high intensity, water may not be enough. Consider drinking sports drinks to refuel and re-hydrate your body more efficiently. Aside from fluids, you can also hydrate your body by eating water-rich foods like watermelon, broccoli, lettuce, apple, or celery sticks.
4. Opt for shaded areas
Avoiding the hottest part of the day is a no-brainer. The two best times to exercise is early in the morning to catch the cool or at night when the sun’s radiation is minimal. But, if you can’t resist jogging in the heat of a midday or afternoon, stick to shaded areas or wooded trails to avoid places that absorb heat such as asphalt or sand-filled areas.
5. Cool down by plunging into the pool
Myth: It is not safe to jump into a pool after a hot, vigorous workout.
Truth: Jumping into a pool is a fun and safe way to cool down and soothe your body after a tough gym regimen or even a simple jog.
If you’re feeling a little hot but you don’t want to go home yet, doing some pool-based tuck jumps might be the answer. Ellis Peters, a swim coach at Equinox in NYC recommends tuck jumps to allow your body to cool down while still dropping a few pounds. Tuck the knees into your chest then use your arms to help you jump and keep your balance. Repeat the workout for 10 times.
Noo! I'm heading back inside! Plunge in head first! I think of the pool as life😊 pic.twitter.com/7xre8JoFcs
— Cheyenne R. (@Lady_Nightfury1) October 15, 2016
When to say “I’m going inside”
It may ruin your mood not to finish your intense workout but it will pay more price if you don’t listen to your body. Exercise in a hot, humid weather can quickly increase your body’s core temperature and put you at risk of heat stroke or heat exhaustion. Dizziness, weakness, light-headedness, headache, muscle cramps, nausea, paling of the skin, rapid yet weak pulse, dark urine, and cool moist skin are some of the clear signs you have to look for.
Author Bio: Despite her busy daily routine, Carmina Natividad still manages to find time for a little self-pampering. Aside from hitting the pool during the weekends, she also finds interest in writing articles focused on health and wellness. She is now one of the writers for Swimprint, a go-to shop for swimming enthusiasts in the UK.