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Essential Tips for Exercising in the Heat

A beautiful day can bring out the active person in all of us, with the sun beckoning to be soaked up and fresh air a delight to the senses when we’ve been cooped up inside. It can be difficult to find the perfect conditions for a good outdoor workout, but there’s no need to rule out hot days in your exercise regime.

Here are some handy tips for exercising safely in the heat.

Keep up your fluids

Dehydration is the most common affliction suffered by people exercising in heat. Up to 60% of our bodies are made up of water, and when we sweat more than usual in the heat, we lose more of our body’s hydration and salts essential for keeping our core temperature balanced.

Ensure you drink water in the lead up to your workout (particularly in the 60 minutes beforehand) and consider purchasing a post-workout drink with added sodium, potassium and chloride to replenish your stores lost through sweating.

Think about your clothing

Hot days aren’t the right time to bring out your all-black workout ensemble or tight-fitting and synthetic fabrics. Dark colours absorb more of the sun’s heat and will raise your core temperature faster than lighter colours.

In addition, clothing that is tight, not breathable and non-absorbent won’t wick the moisture away from your body or give your skin any airflow and can mean you will overheat more quickly.

Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to any exposed areas of skin!

Consider a swim

Not only is swimming refreshing on a hot day, but it’s also a great way to get your muscles moving and heartrate up, giving you a great workout.

Heading down to the local pool or beach is a great alternative to the gym or an outdoor workout to exercise most of your muscle groups. Most of your body’s muscles are moving while you’re swimming, and the water takes a lot of high impact stress off your joints and muscles while promoting strength and cardio fitness.

Know your body’s limits

If you’re not typically an active person or you suffer from illness that impacts your ability to exercise, you may want to reconsider exercising in the heat as you put your body at further risk of injury or heat exhaustion.

On the contrary, if you’re used to going hard during your workout, consider dialling back the intensity whilst in the heat to avoid causing your body to overheat. Adjust your workout so you don’t overexert yourself.

If you’re feeling any symptoms of heat exhaustion such as nausea/vomiting, headaches/dizziness, muscle cramping/weakness, problems with your vision, or anything out of the ordinary, it’s important to know your limits. Call it a day and get yourself out of the heat!

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