With the hot weather we have seen this summer, it is so important to review the ways to engage in exercise when the temperatures are not so favorable.
This post can be for any mover and groover - from high school to college athletes or those who prefer to enjoy a nice summer stroll. Engaging in safe exercise in hot weather is necessary!
Let’s break it down further.
How Hot Weather Can Impact Exercise
Exercising in hot, humid conditions can rapidly raise your body’s core temperature putting you at greater risk for heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
what is heat exhaustion?
Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat related illness that can present with the following symptoms:
- Heavy sweating
- Muscle cramps
- Nausea or vomiting
- Dark urine
- Cool, moist skin
- Low, slow pulse
If untreated it can progress to heat stroke.
what is heat stroke?
Heat stroke is the most serious heat related illness. Body temperature may rise to 103°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes.
With heat stroke victims, look for the following symptoms:
- Dry, hot skin (no sweating)
- Rapid, weak pulse
- A body temperature of above 103°F
If you see someone with any warning signs of heat stroke it is recommended that you call 911 immediately and then try to cool the victim.
For more on the physical ways heat can impact exercise, visit this study.
Because of the well-documented dangers, being able to safely exercise when temperatures rise is imperative. We’re breaking down 8 ways to safely move in hot temperatures below.
how to exercise in hot weather
hydrate with electrolytes
Hydrating with water is critical when temperatures are high but if you typically sweat more during workouts or are moving for a prolonged period of time, supplementing with an electrolyte beverage is recommended. Supplementing with electrolytes like sodium and potassium allow for your body to maintain adequate fluid and blood volume.
fuel with carbohydrates
Regardless of temperature we want to ensure adequate fueling on a daily basis to help support joyful movement. Carbohydrates our are bodies #1 love and fuel source. They are SO important to ensure that you have the energy to engage in the movement you love, especially when you are moving in hot weather.
Everyone is different and will require unique recommendations about appropriate fueling for their body. If you are curious about your own needs, drop us a line to schedule a session with one of our dietitians.
know when to go
When thinking about hot weather throughout the day, typically between 10 am and 3 pm are going to be the most extreme. If possible, try to plan your movement around these times. And wherever you go - make sure to wear sunscreen!
wear comfortable and lightweight clothing
When moving in the heat, clothing is so important! Cotton attire is the most lightweight but, if you are able to invest in a higher priced item, they also sell sweat wicking movement attire. Whatever you wear - ensure it is comfortable for your body!
Additionally, when working out in hot weather, spraying yourself with cold water prior to movement can be beneficial as it can act as a cooling agent while you move.
listen to your body
If you’re finding that you are pushing your body beyond its physical limits because you feel that you “should” - it may be time to reflect on your personal relationship with movement.
As always with movement, but especially in the heat, your body knows best. If you are feeling unwell or displaying any abnormal symptoms (see above for symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke). Give yourself grace if movement in hot weather looks different than normal for you. You are honoring your body’s needs and that is something to celebrate.
give your body rest
You are deserving of rest always. But rest is especially important when you are engaging in movement in warmer temperatures. This counts for both taking breaks during movement as well as adequate rest afterwards. Allowing your body to rest and repair will only be beneficial for long term improvements in health!
And remember - if heat or moving outside is not your thing.. that’s OK! Taking your workout indoors is completely acceptable and may be what’s best for you.
If you or a loved one is curious about exploring their relationship with movement or nutrition needs when engaging in movement - let us know! Our team of dietitians and certified personal trainers have curated an online exercise library that was created to help meet you where you are at in your movement journey. Find out more here!