Exercising in the heat can be an unavoidable circumstance at times, especially if you live in an area where it is hot most of the year. In addition, being part of certain outdoor competitions can leave you at risk of suffering from heat stroke if you are not careful. Aside from not exercising like a madman, there is not much you can do to control what happens to you in extreme weather conditions. However, there are some basic precautions you can take to ensure the heat does not get the best of you when you really get into your workout.
1. Get Plenty of Fluids
As most people know, getting plenty of fluids is incredibly important to a person’s overall health. Not only do we need lots of it just to survive but we also need even more of it to prevent problems while exercising in the heat. Water is what you should reach for most often, but try to chug some of those electrolyte-infused sports drinks, too. Whatever you do, drink your fluids at room temperature. If you drink extremely cold liquids while exercising in the heat, you can give yourself cramps, indigestion, or nausea.
2. Allow Yourself to Sweat
Sweating is a natural function used to cool the body during times of physical exertion. If you stop working out because you are getting too sweaty for exercising in the heat, then you unfortunately miss out on the purging effect that sweat has on your body’s system. Think of it as a natural sauna—cleaning your pores as it strengthens and improves your physique.
3. Take Frequent Breaks
It is important for you to stop often for breaks when you are exercising in the heat (or even in the cold). Your body is going through a lot to maintain a healthy temperature while keeping your muscles moving for the workout you are performing. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) requires you to work out for short periods and then stop for a moment, thereby turning a brief workout into a highly effective one. This might be your best bet for those heated workout routines.
4. Don’t Shock the System
When working out in hot weather conditions, you want to be careful not to shock your body. Do not jump into extremely cold water, chug any beverages that are chilled too much, or even go back and forth between outside and an air-conditioned area. This could cause you some pretty serious problems if you are not careful.