by Tiffanie Grady-Gillespie, Certified Physical Trainer, Certified Corporate Wellness Coach, WickedFiTT
I support anyone who is working out daily as part of a healthy lifestyle. However, with Southern Arizona temperatures, you might be wondering, how safe is it to exercise in the summer’s hot weather?
If you’re not careful, you can end up suffering from a heat-related health condition such as a heat stroke, heat exhaustion or extreme dehydration, maybe worse.
When we exercise, our muscles need our blood to flow to be able to continue moving. When it’s hot, the heart needs to work even harder to divert blood to the skin’s surface, where it’s cooled and returned for re-circulation. This can also make it harder for the heart, muscles and lungs to work properly.
Don’t you worry, working out in the heat can be done safely. Here are some of the best things you can do to beat the Arizona summer heat:
Let’s get the obvious out of the way first: hydrate, hydrate, you so don’t die-drate. Do not forget to replenish those electrolytes. Always drink before you get thirsty.
Wear loose-fitting, light-colored and breathable clothing so your sweat can evaporate more easily, helping your body cool. Cotton is a light-weight and affordable material that can help you to stay dry.
I am sure you’ve probably noticed that the first really hot day of the year is when your workout feels most difficult. That’s because your body needs time to acclimate to the heat, this means easing into hot workouts is important.
Start your workout gradually and lower your intensity to accommodate for the higher heart rate and increase in perceived exertion.
Don’t try to keep up your normal pace and intensity in the hot weather.
Many people prefer to work out earlier in the morning before it gets too hot as it can help them to stay energized throughout the day and sleep better at night.
Regardless of what time you choose to exercise, pay attention to how you feel.
Keep an eye on your heart rate, gotta love our watches. Always pay attention to symptoms of heat illness including headache, dizziness, confusion, excess sweating, muscle cramps, stomach sickness, severe fatigue and unusually heavy breathing or high heart rate.
Stop if you’re not feeling well.
By taking these precautions, you can stay healthy and active all summer long.