Considering the temperatures and humidity have been soaring across most of the country this week I thought it was appropriate to talk about safety while exercising outdoors in this weather. The temps soared in the Northeast on Thursday resulting in record breaking highs.
- Hydrate: The number one way to avoid dehydration and heat stroke is to stay adequately hydrated. Drink at least 8-10 glasses water daily. When exercising drink 1-2 glasses before heading out and bring water or gatorade with you sipping every 15-20 minutes throughout the exercise. Gatorade or another electrolyte drink is best if you are going on long runs or bouts of exercise to help replace electrolytes in addition to hydrating you.
- Exercise early or late: When the summer arrives, or a heat wave occurs it is best to exercise early in the morning or late in the evening when it is cooler and the sun is not beating down on you at full force.
- Dress appropriately: Wear light, breathable clothing.
- Exercise indoors if possible: Exercising in an air-conditioned gym or house is much better than running in 100 degree weather.
- Take it easy: If you must exercise outdoors go slow. Don’t go out on a hot, humid day trying to score a new PR. In this type of weather it is best to take it easy and not overdo it, better safe than sorry.
- Assess your workout schedule: If you are supposed to for a 10 mile run and it’s going to be in the 90’s maybe you split the workout into two 5 mile runs or another day is going to be cooler so switch days, sometimes we have to adjust.
- Use your judgement: We all have to make our own decisions about working out in the hot weather, just use your judgement and plan appropriately by checking the heat index for the day, carrying water or gatorade, planning your route and slowing down if you get too hot. Don’t push forward if you are feeling exhausted, dizzy or nauseous-these are signs of dehydration and heat stroke which can turn deadly if ignored. I also advise carrying a cell phone (so you can call for help) and money (so you can buy a drink if needed).
I am going to be training for the Rock’n’Roll Half-Marathon through the summer and if the recent weather is any indication of how hot it is going to get I will be following all the precautions above to stay safe. When I don’t get up early to run I will probably be spending a lot of time in an air conditioned gym running on the treadmill.
So use these tips and stay safe while exercising outdoors in the extreme heat and humidity. Also, if you have any medical conditions and/or take prescription medications you should always check with your doctor before exercising in the heat because it may exacerbate your condition.
What tips do you have for keeping cool while exercising in the summer heat?