With temperatures in the high 80s this week, it’s time for a quick reminder about exercising safely in hot temperatures.
Exercise Early or Late
As the weather gets warmer, your body needs to adjust to the temperature change. Exercise during the coolest part of the day, such as early morning or later in the evening if you plan on exercising outside.
The coolest time is before 7 a.m. or after 6 p.m. If that isn’t possible, take advantage of a cool indoor exercise center or find a well-shaded route.
Proper hydration is a major concern during exercise, especially during warm weather. Sweating weight off is not the way to lose a few pounds, but it is a way to get dehydrated. The best way to stay properly hydrated is to start your activity well hydrated. Drink fluids throughout the day and within at least an hour of your planned activity. During your activity you will need to replace sweat losses by drinking throughout your exercise. A good guideline is fluid intake about every 15 minutes during your workout. Also, don’t forget to rehydrate after the activity. Water will do the trick for low-to-moderate activities lasting 60 minutes or less. If you are doing high-intensity activities lasting more than 60 minutes, you will want to use a fluid replacement beverage designed to replace carbohydrates and electrolytes.
Eating watery foods like fruits and vegetables is an easy way to replace both carbohydrates and electrolytes. One of my favorite ways to recharge and rehydrate after a run is with a homemade fruit smoothie. I start with a blend of my favorite berries, add some low fat Greek yogurt, a little fruit juice and plenty of ice to make a delicious post-exercise beverage that is loaded with all the good stuff like vitamin C, potassium and potent antioxidants.
Cut Back on Your Normal Workout
When the temperature hits the 90s, cut the pace back or cut the distance back, especially when running. Do not try to do the same pace you do on cooler days.
Wear the Proper Weight of Clothing
When exercising in the heat, lightweight, light-color fabrics that wick away sweat are best for exercising. Wear a light hat with a brim that protects your head and face but allows air to flow through. Also, remember to protect your eyes and skin from the rays of the sun with some lightweight sunglasses and keep your skin safe by applying sunscreen designed for sports and sweating.