Tips on how to avoid over-heating when exercising outside
By: Traci Bacon
Plan your workouts/time in the heat:
Pay attention to the weather and plan your outdoor activities based on the temperature; for example; long runs early or later in the day (avoiding mid day sun). Be aware of heat alerts in your area!
Back- up plan:
We all know the weather channel is not 100% accurate, so have a back-up plan. Whether this includes indoor exercise options if it is too hot out, or planning runs based on available water stops. Rest in shady areas.
Know your fitness level:
Before pushing your activity level, make sure your body is acclimated to the hotter weather. If you’re beginning to exercise outdoors for the first start with interval time frames and monitor your duration and intensity levels. Gradually increase your physical activity and monitor your progression.
I am not talking about alcohol on those hot summer days. Hydrate with water and do not wait until you are thirsty. Be proactive about your water consumption. With intense or prolonged exercise; consider sports drinks that are made for replenishing and restoring electrolyte balance.
ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) guidelines for hydration during exercise.
Wear sunscreen to reduce risk of sunburn! Sunburns will reduce your body’s ability to cool itself. Light weight clothing that is also loose fitting will help keep you cooler. Synthetic fabrics such Dri-Fit wick moisture away from your skin and can promote evaporation of sweat and therefore keep you cooler.
Always talk to your doctor if you have known medical conditions to ensure safe methods of exercise in the heat. Children and adults over the age of 65 are at greater risk for illness and symptoms related to over-heating.
1. ACSM College of Sports Medicine. Selecting and Effectively Using Hydration for Fitness. https://www.acsm.org/docs/brochures/selecting-and-effectively-using-hydration-for-fitness.pdf. Accessed July 19th, 2015.
2. Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Heat and Exercise: Keeping Cool in Hot Weather. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20048167. Accessed July 10th, 2015.
3. O’Conner FG, et al. Exertional heat illness in adolescents and adults: Management and prevention. Http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 19th, 2015.
4. Tips for preventing heat-related illness. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/heattips.asp. Accessed July 10th, 2015.