This week, we are looking at weather in the 90’s for the first time this summer but definitely not the last. Especially with outdoor workouts, there are a handful of considerations to make sure you are protecting yourself, keeping safe and getting the most out of your workout.
The main concern is a rising body temperature and losing the ability to control or lower it. However, heat isn’t the only culprit for messing with our temperature-control abilities, humidity and exercise will make it harder to lower our body-temp too!
What happens when your body gets too hot?
In an effort to cool down, your body sends more blood to circulate through your skin, this reduces the amount of blood getting delivered to your muscles which then increases your heart rate as it works harder to keep up with your moving muscles. Sweat is also produced as a method of cooling down the body, but if the humidity is high, that sweat will not evaporate and body temperature will continue to rise.
How to get ready for a summer of hot workouts:
You need to first get your body prepared! Luckily, the body is very adaptable and does have the ability to acclimate to hotter weather. The important piecehere is to give it the opportunity to do so. If you’re stepping out of your air-conditioned home-workouts and headed to our sunny outdoor class, take it easy on your first few days back, it can take 1-2 weeks for your body to adjust.
Know your Level:
If you are returning to workouts after some time off or brand new to fitness all together, also consider taking it easy your first few weeks getting started. Not only will your heart be working hard to keep up with new demands as you learn new exercises, but it will be working hard to keep you cool as well. Things are going to feel tough, but taking appropriate steps can keep you safe and give you time to adjust!
If you don’t drink enough fluids leading up to your workout, your body will not be able to produce sweat to help lower your temperature. You should also consider sports drinks along with water, as both are important for maintaining your hydration and electrolyte levels! Your workout-time hydration is not only measured by the bottle of water you had before coming to the gym but how much you drank the entire day beforehand.
Wear the right clothes:
Lightweight and loose-fitting clothing will help sweat evaporate faster. Avoid wearing dark colors as they will absorb extra heat. Consider wearing a light-colored, wide brim hat as well to help keep cool and protect you from the sun.
Pick the right time:
Knowing your fitness level, any other health considerations and your current adaptation to the heat, come to the class time that will keep you the safest! Avoid mid-day workouts if you can when the sun will be the hottest and brightest, we offer a 5:30am class and a 6:30pm class.
Protect your skin from a sunburn which decreases your body’s ability to cool itself down even further plus protect yourself from skin cancers.
We are hopeful to get back to indoor workouts soon enough, however, the concern for heat-related illnesses still remain!
Heat cramps, syncope, exhaustion and heatstroke are all real concerns that our coaches are always keeping an eye out for during hot and humid workouts. We have all been trained and educated on the warning signs and quick treatment options to help our members in the event of an emergency!
Some things we look for, that you should be aware of too, if you start to notice them in yourself:
- Muscle cramps
- Nausea or vomiting
- Excessive sweating
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Low blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Visual problems
If you notice any of these symptoms, stop working out immediately and find some ways to cool down. Sit in the shade, sit in front of a fan, elevate your legs, drink cool water, pour cold water on your body – especially the back of your neck and chest, or sit an ice pack on the back of your neck or chest. If a coach notices these things before you do, listen to them when they instruct you to take a break!