In typical Vermont fashion, we went from winter to warm pretty quickly as the official start of summer started and thankfully the nice weather and warmer temps are sticking around this week so here are a few annual reminders about playing it safe when exercising in the summer heat, inside and out:
Do not just go 100% into your same intensity of exercise once warm and humid weather appears. The body needs time to acclimate to heat and humidity so take the intensity and duration down for your first couple warmer weather workouts and notice any differences in the body’s response to the environmental change.
If you do a lot of walking and/or running outside: Try to schedule your activity during non-prime heat and sun hours (AKA first thing in the morning or in the evening). Otherwise take it easy going for less distance and less speed so the body can adjust over the period of a week or two depending on how frequently you workout outside in one week of warm weather. Another great idea is take your workout to the mountains. Hiking any of our local glorious peaks is a great way to get an amazing working, enjoy nature and staying a bit cooler and safe from the sun.
Hydrate: Water up! Unless you are out in the heat for 90+ minutes and/or sweating profusely, water alone is a fine form of hydration, no fancy sports drinks needed. If you are out for extended periods of times it is wise to replace electrolytes with a sports drink or make one of your own.
Embrace the air-conditioning if you need to workout mid-day and keep it inside a nice cool and controlled environment.
IF you have chills when working out on a hot day or get light headed or super thirsty before/during or after your workout there is a good chance you have over-heated or dehydrated. You want to make sure you are well hydrated prior to beginning your workout and take in small amounts of water during your workout. And if you get light headed or begin to have chills while working out you should stop your workout, rest in a shady or cool spot. You then want to cool yourself progressively not rapidly using a cold compress and take in some water or some sort of sports drink or orange juice.
Play it safe this summer by being prepared and playing it safe with your workouts. Your body will thank you for it and your exercise will be much more pleasant!