5 Hacks for Hot Weather ExerciseArticle posted in: Nutrisystem for Men
When the days turn warm and sunny, we all feel the urge to go outside and get active. And that’s a good thing, because every step you take brings you closer to your weight loss goal. But when the temperature spikes into the hot zone, you need to take extra care to protect your health.
Here are five hacks for hot weather exercise to keep you going strong all summer long:
1. ADAPT GRADUALLY
Exercise that feels easy on temperate days can be more taxing and even put you at risk on a hot, humid afternoon. When your body heats up, it sends more blood to your skin’s upper layers to help you stay cool. That leaves less blood for your muscles, which increases your heart rate. In very humid conditions, sweat doesn’t evaporate from your skin as quickly as it does normally, which pushes up your internal temperature.
If you’ve been exercising inside or in cooler weather, go easy on the first hot days of the season to help your body acclimate to the increased demands. If you want to keep up the same level of exertion, do part of your workout inside and, over the course of two weeks, gradually increase the length of time you exercise outside.
2. DRINK BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER
Even mild dehydration can cause fatigue and headaches, and slow your metabolism. Severe dehydration can lead to fevers and more serious ailments. Your body loses more water through sweat on hot days, so you need to replenish it early and often.
Your thirst may not be the most reliable indicator of your need for fluids. Before you exercise on a hot day, drink at least eight ounces of water within a half hour of starting your workout. Drink eight more every 20 minutes or so as you exercise and another eight ounces within the hour after you finish. While sports drinks tout their capacity to rehydrate you quickly, they are no more effective than plain water for the average workout, plus many of them are high in sugars and excess calories.
3. COOL YOUR NECK
When your body’s core temperature passes 104 degrees F, you may suffer from cramps, confusion, dizziness, nausea and more. If you don’t cool down, you may even succumb to very dangerous heat exhaustion or heatstroke.
You can pre-cool and stay cool during hot weather exercise by draping your neck with a towel soaked in chilled water, according to a study published by the National Institutes of Health. The researchers found that pre-cooling improved endurance in very hot conditions and reduced the risk of overheating. Drinking frozen drinks or pouring cool water over your head during exercise had similar effects.
4. SNACK ON MINERALS
As you sweat, you lose essential sodium and potassium, which help your body retain fluids and recover from exertion. You need to replace these minerals after exercising to help your body rebound and continue to burn calories.
Olives, nuts and seeds are rich sources of sodium, along with healthy fats your body burns for energy. Bananas, cantaloupe and yogurt are all high in potassium. Include these foods in your meals and snacks on hot days to keep your body stocked up on the essential minerals.
5. CHOOSE YOUR TIME
Temperatures and humidity levels peak between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. And midday sun on your skin raises your internal temperature and puts you at risk for sunburn, which diminishes your skin’s ability to cool itself.
During hot weather, exercise outside in the morning, if you can. You not only stay cooler, but your metabolism starts burning excess calories early and stays active all day long. The next best time to exercise in sultry conditions is after 5 p.m., as the sun begins to set. On the hottest days—when temperatures and humidity levels are in the 90s from sun up to sun down—exercise inside an air-conditioned gym or scale back your workout.