It's not hard to reason this one but you migh...
Now that the summer months have finally arrived in all their sweltering glory, you want to get out and about, but with the extreme humidity, not to mention insane temperature spikes (41 degrees celsius and more are on the cards this summer), it seems summer workouts are not all that they are cracked up to be either.
While exercising in the heat is generally safe for most people, taking a few extra precautions will help you stay cool and prevent problems from occurring.
Vibha Shah (fitness expert) puts things into perspective - “Normally, your body cools off as sweat evaporates from your skin. But when heat and humidity rise, that sweat can't evaporate as quickly. This illicit combination of hot weather, high body temperature and exercise can prove to be dangerous- even so much as deadly. So yes, it is ideal that one modifies their workout in the summer.”
POSSIBLE HEALTH PROBLEMS THAT CAN OCCUR
From dehydration to heat strokes to extreme sunburns and UV damage to your skin and eyes from the sun’s harsh rays, possible health issues are evidently numerous.
For these - prevention is ALWAYS better than the cure.
TIPS TO MODIFY YOUR ROUTINE:
Listen to your body: This is the most important factor in modifying your summer routine. If you notice any symptoms of heat illness stop your workout immediately. It's not a good idea to "push yourself" in extreme heat, simply discontinue it.
Take a dip: Let’s face it. It’s the best time of year to immerse yourself in water exercise - a great alternative in hot weather. Water keeps your body cool and reduces how difficult you perceive your workout to be. However, do not be misguided into believing you don’t need to keep hydrated for this sport as well.
Perfect your timing: Sun, humidity and pollution levels are most intense during the day, so you're at greater risk for dehydration, sunburn and heat exhaustion during this time. To minimize the effects of the weather, work out in the early morning (before 9 a.m.) or after sunset.
Wear "wicking" fabrics: While cotton is comfortable, it doesn’t wick away moisture very well. Choose a loose-fitting polyester/cotton blend instead, or synthetic fibers designed especially for wicking during exercise.
Seek shade: Parks, trails and other tree-lined areas can help you stay cooler than direct sunlight, and enhance your over-all workout.
Protect your skin: Apply sunscreen with SPF 15 (or higher) to prevent sunburn—even on cloudy days. Use an oil-free formula that won’t interfere with your body’s ability to cool itself down and select a sweat-proof variety to prevent sunscreen from irritating your eyes. Clothing with tight weaves, sunglasses, and a lightweight hat with a brim can also help block the sun’s harmful rays.
Drink often: Hydrate your body before, during and after your workout by carrying cold water and drinking it often. Switch to a sports drink with electrolytes if you will be exercising for more than an hour.
Check air quality: Before you head outside, get current reports online or on your local radio station. Lower your exertion (intensity) level during physical activity on days with extreme heat and high smog. This dangerous weather warrants easy walking, relaxed cycling or light gardening instead of vigorous exercise.
Acclimate to the heat: Even the fittest people can have trouble exercising when it's hot and humid. Start by exercising in the heat for only a few minutes each day and gradually increase the amount of time you can tolerate outdoors.
Monitor your heart rate: If your intensity level rises above your target range, slow down or stop to avoid further stress.
Know when to stay inside: If temperatures climb above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, take your exercise in an air-conditioned environment, such as the gym or shopping mall.
Avoid extreme temperate changes: Don’t go from blistering outdoor heat to a shockingly cold air-conditioned building. Try to cool yourself down gradually before exposing your body to cooler temperatures.
Rustom Warden (Wellness practitioner and owner of his own home-gym) says “People all over the world pray for these hot months in order to finally have the workout they can only dream about. But instead of looking at the advantageous aspect we find always find an excuse to not exercise. Right from it’s too cold to get out of bed/ too rainy to workout all the way to it’s too hot to do anything now! It’s not that people shouldn’t take it easy in extremely high temperatures but there’s no reason to stop! Summer brings many exhilarating and otherwise unavailable opportunities to get outside so enjoy yourself!” Well, there you have it, right from the horse’s mouth.
Couldn’t have said it better myself!
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