Finally the hot weather has arrived. You’ve got to love it, except maybe not when it comes to working out. Some people enjoy physical activity in the summer because you can be outside. Others hate the heat and steer away from exercising. Being physically active in a hot environment calls for some special attention, but with proper tips, anyone can beat the heat and enjoy exercise.
So, what’s the big deal? The muscles you activate when working out generate metabolic heat and also stimulate your sweat glands. As a result the blood flow to your skin is increased prompting your body to sweat like crazy to try to keep cool. Consequently, you lose a TON of water and risk dehydration, hyperthermia (elevated internal body temperature), as well as painful muscle cramps.
You may think a little dehydration doesn’t hurt much. However, if you lose more than 5% of your body weight due to dehydration, your maximum strength, and your aerobic and endurance capacity will severely suffer. Then what’s the point of working out, right?
The solution is simple. If you’re going to work out in the summer heat weigh yourself before and after the workout. Active people should be drinking at LEAST 1 pint of fluid for each pound of body weight lost. Next, take plenty of rest breaks during the physical activity to replenish your body’s water and energy supply.
Finally, realize that while it might be difficult at first, once your body gets acclimated to the hot weather, you’ll be beating the summer heat in no time!