Tips for Staying Safe While Exercising in the Heat
Summer is in full swing and that means one thing: hot, sweaty workouts in the great outdoors. While this is a great way to lose weight and get healthy, it’s important to take precautions to stay safe in the heat. After all, even though it's important to get your sweat on this season, you don't want to overdo it and end up sick!
In this blog post, we'll give you some information on how hot weather affects the body as well as tips for staying cool in the heat while working out this summer. It's time to learn how to burn calories without burning up!
How Heat Affects You
Before we can jump into tips, it's important to understand why the heat is so dangerous. When your body is exposed to high temperatures, it starts to overheat and then works to cool itself by increasing blood flow. In turn, this makes your heart work harder and can lead to dehydration.
When your body fails to cool down and becomes too hot, it can cause:
- Heat cramps: These are painful, involuntary muscle spasms that usually occur as a result of dehydration from exercising in the heat.
- Heat exhaustion: This occurs when your body temperature rises and you start to experience symptoms like headache, nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness, and weakness. If ignored or untreated, this can lead to heatstroke.
- Heatstroke: This is a medical emergency that happens when your body temperature gets so high that it starts to shut down. Symptoms include confusion, loss of consciousness, and seizures. If you think someone is suffering from heatstroke, call 911 immediately.
Know The Warning Signs
Now that you know how the heat can affect your body, it's important to be able to recognize the warning signs of heat-related illness. This way, you can take a break and cool down before things get too out of hand. Some warning signs to look out for include:
- Excessive sweating or not sweating at all
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Nausea or vomiting
- Rapid heartbeat
- Muscle cramps
- Trouble breathing
- Weakness or fatigue
If you start to experience any of these symptoms, it's time to take a break and cool down. Find some shade, drink some water, and relax for a bit until you're feeling better. It's better to be safe than sorry!
Check The Temperature & Time
One of the best ways to avoid heat-related illness is to check the temperature and time of day before you head out for a workout. If it's going to be a hot one, try to avoid being outside during the midday sun. The hottest hours are usually between noon and 3 pm, so if you can, work out in the morning or evening when it's cooler.
However, if midday is the best time to work exercise into your schedule, there are other ways to beat the heat! Find a way to exercise indoors, whether that means visiting the gym, walking around at the mall, climbing stairs inside your air-conditioned house, or doing some yoga in your living room.
If you're headed outdoors for a workout, be prepared! First, be sure to dress appropriately. Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothes that will help your body sweat and cool down. And don't forget the sunscreen!
It's also important to bring along plenty of water to stay hydrated. Dehydration is a huge contributor to heat illness, so it's important to drink fluids even if you're not thirsty. Aim for about 15-20 ounces of water before you head out, and then drink about 8 ounces every 15 minutes while you're exercising.
You might also want to consider investing in a portable fan, cooling towel, or spray bottle to help keep cool on the go!
Take It Slow
If you're new to working out, it's important to ease into it, especially in hot weather. Moreover, even if you are already exercising as part of the Right Weight Program, it's important to take it slow at first if you're not used to exercising in the heat.
It can take one to two weeks for your body to adapt to the heat, so don't try to push yourself too hard too soon. Start with shorter, lower-intensity workouts and gradually increase the length and intensity as your body gets used to the heat.
Above all, it's important to listen to your body when exercising in the heat. If you start to feel any symptoms of heat-related illness, slow down and take a break to cool off.
Work With The Professionals
The above tips can help you stay safe while exercising in the heat, but it's always a good idea to consult with a professional before starting any new fitness routine. The weight loss doctors at the Right Weight Center can help you develop a safe and effective workout plan that fits your needs and lifestyle.
If you're looking to start a weight loss journey, the Right Weight Center can help! Our weight loss doctors will develop a personalized plan that's right for you. Contact us today to learn more about our weight loss programs and how we can help you achieve your weight loss goals!