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Fitness & Wellness

Exercising Outside In The Heat

We’ve recently experienced extreme temperatures in Alexandria, VA. Those high temperatures combined with the humidity made it feel like 110 to 115 degrees outside. That’s just too hot for anything. Exercising outside in the heat requires more caution and some extra care, just as exercising in extreme cold does. While many clients prefer to stay in an air conditioned gym during excessive heat, if you’re going to workout when the temperature’s turned up, you need to follow some precautions.

Plan your exercise for the coolest part of the day.

Get up early, before the sun has time to warm it up too much or start working out later in the day as the sun sets. Whatever you do, don’t try to workout midday. There’s an old satirical song by Noel Coward that starts with, “Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noon day sun.” While it was a comment on the British not taking a break in tropical areas, it brings a point home. Timing your workout is important.

Adjust your workout to the weather.

Your body already has to work hard to stay cool and working harder than normal. When it’s hot and humid, you simply can’t do what you normally do in cooler, more comfortable weather. Heat and high humidity can wear you out, so rather than running miles, try jogging, walking briskly or alternating to pace yourself. Hot weather is definitely not a place to try a new workout or push yourself to new limits.

Stay hydrated.

Water is your best friend in hot weather. In fact, this should be at the top of everyone’s list, even if they aren’t taking their workout program to the outside. Sip on 8-10 ounces of water throughout every 20 minute session. Stick with water and finish your workout with some juicy fresh fruit to provide the electrolytes necessary. Skip the higher calorie sports drinks if you’re trying to lose weight.

What you wear is also extremely important. Wear light weight clothing that’s light-colored. It should breathe and be loose, which allows the air to circulate, sweat to evaporate and cool you.

If you have a medical condition or taking medication, ALWAYS check with your health care professional first before starting any type of new workout program, especially if the temperatures are extreme.

Hot and humid weather is even worse than hot and dry. Because the sweat doesn’t evaporate, you get even hotter than you would otherwise. Pay close attention to both the humidity and the temperature.

Know the danger signs. Weakness, dizziness, headache, muscle cramps, paling of skin, light-headedness, nausea/vomiting and rapid heart beat tell you that you have a problem. Keep your workout shorter and safer to avoid them.

Want to Learn More?

If you’re ready to take the next step, contact me today here or call me at 540-421-8527.

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