Exercising in the Summer Heat

For some of you the summer is beginning to wind down but make no mistake, for a lot of us it is still plenty hot out there. You want some evidence, take a look at today’s temperature’s across the nation.

Exercising in the heat can be dangerous and if you are not prepared, it is downright foolish to be out there exercising in it. That said, a little preparation you can make an outside workout fun and enjoyable in almost any weather condition.

If you don’t drink enough water, you can get dehydrated and suffer from light-headedness and nausea. If not recognized, dehydration can even result in kidney failure and or, in extreme cases, death. However, if you drink too much water without replenishing your electrolytes, you can experience hyponatremia. This can lead to confusion, nausea, muscle cramps, seizures or even death in extreme cases. I have had hyponatremia and I can tell you first hand that it is NOT fun!

So what do we need to keep in mind when we are going to go out there and exercise in the heat:

What time of day are you going? 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. is generally the hottest part of the day so either get your workout in before 10 or after 3.

Wear loose and light colored clothing. The lighter colors will help reflect away heat.

Sunscreen, Sunscreen, Sunscreen!!!!! It won’t keep you any cooler but it will definitely prevent cancer down the road.

Stay hydrated!!! Every 15 minutes when you are out in hot weather. EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT THIRSTY!!!! Drink before, during and after!

Replenish your electrolytes and salt. Sodium capsules are cheep and easy to take and they are an absolute life saver on those long hot runs.

Try to stay on the shadier parts of the road or trails.

Check the weather! Seems like a no brainer, but if there is a heat advisory out or high pollution in the air, time to take the workout inside.

With a little preparation and common sense, you can still have an enjoyable workout outdoors, no matter what the temperature is.

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