If you like to exercise outdoors in the heat and humidity, you should take the necessary measures in order to do so safely. This way you can avoid getting dizzy or nauseous as you allow your body to acclimate to the weather. Exercising in hot weather will increase your body temperature. Sweating is your body’s way of cooling down. This natural cooling system may fail if you are exposed to the rising temperatures for too long. Furthermore, the humidity doesn’t allow your sweat to evaporate quickly. This can send your body temperature even higher which can even result in a heat exhaustion or a heat stroke.
First order of business – hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day if not more. Stay away from sugary sports drinks and opt for coconut water filled with electrolytes and potassium instead. Eating fruits and veggies with higher water content, such as pineapple, watermelon, tomatoes, and cucumbers not only help you replenish fluids, they offer health benefits as well.
Avoid the hottest part of the day if possible. It’s ideal to exercise early in the morning or in the evening after work.
Wear light colored and comfortable clothing so you have good air circulation. Avoid dark colors and heavy clothing which absorb heat.
Allow your body 10 to 14 days to acclimate to the heat and humidity. No matter what fitness level you are, you will feel sluggish and lethargic in the beginning. I’ve seen this time and time again with my students and clients. I’ve experienced this myself as well. It takes time to adjust so scale back your efforts temporarily. Be mindful of what your body is telling you.
Listen to your body. If you want to continue exercising in these weather conditions, it is important respect it and give it the attention it needs. This way you won’t have to worry about fainting, muscle cramps, dizziness on top of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Be smart and be safe. Enjoy your outdoor workouts and come play with us in Central Park on Tuesdays and Thursday evening at 7p if you’re in the area.
Have a great week!
Health & Fitness Coach