As summer continues and the temperatures rise, heat-related illnesses become more common.
Whether you’re running, lifting weights or going for a walk, you should take notice when the temperature rises. It’s important to familiarise yourself with signs of heat exhaustion when exercising.
We all want to push ourselves to the limits when working out, but even our limits have boundaries.
HOW HEAT AFFECTS YOUR BODY
it’s no secret that exercising in summer feels incredibly harder.
You sweat more, breath more and sometimes find it impossible to cool down.
Exercising in hot weather puts extra stress on our bodies – which can lead to serious illnesses if you don’t take care. High intensity exercise and the temperature plus humidity can ultimately increase your core body temperature.
When we overheat, your body send more blood to circulate through your skin. This results in less blood for your muscles, which in turn increases your heart rate.
If you are exercising in high humidity which an Australian summer sees quite often, your body faces added stress because sweat doesn’t evaporate from your skin – this pushes your body temperature even higher.
But how can you tell the difference between heat exhaustion or heat stroke?
HEAT EXHAUSTION VS. HEAT STROKE
Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after a few days of exposure to high temperatures, and not replacing adequate amounts of fluids. If heat exhaustion is untreated, it can progress to heat stroke – a serious form of heat-related illness.
It is important to act quickly when suffering heat exhaustion. Move to a cooler, air-conditioned place and lie down and hydrate.
HOW TO EXERCISE SAFLEY IN THE HEAT
Don’t let the stat of this blog scare you off exercising this summer!
With the proper precautions, heat illnesses can be easily prevented.
A good tip is to improve your tolerance to the heat by gradually acclimate yourself to exercising in hot environments. Give your body a chance to acclimate and work up to hot and humid conditions.
When exposing yourself to a workout in the summer heat and humidity, use these preventable steps to exercise safely.
HOW TO EXERCISE SAFELY IN THE HEAT:
Be aware of your fitness level, limitation and listening to your body.
It’s common sense but probably one of the most important tips to take away from this article.
If you are looking to start exercising again, and not well-conditioned or haven’t exercised in the heat for a while – you are more vulnerable.
No one needs to be a hero, listening to your body and if you begin to feel the heat affect you, take a break and cool yourself down. Allowing yourself to rest and refuel between set, reps or workouts will help prevent overheating.
Yes, we all choose a time of day that suits our busy schedules. We balance work, family, friends and lives around the day.
But if possible, avoid the intense heat and exercise early in the morning or later in the day. The hottest time of day is between 11am – 3pm.
Fitting in your workouts when the sun isn’t at its peak well help your body manage the heat and push through a cooler session.
Dehydration is a key factor in heat illness. Help your body sweat and cool down by staying well-hydrated with water. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink fluids.
If you plan to exercise intensely, consider a sports drink instead of water. Sports drinks can replace the sodium, chloride and potassium you lose through sweating. Avoid alcoholic drinks because they can actually promote fluid loss.
Don’t neglect your water bottle! Drink fluids constantly to keep yourself safe.
In summer, wear light and breathable clothing.
Lightweight, loose fitting clothing helps sweat evaporate and keeps you cooler. Avoid dark colours, which can absorb heat. Wear a hat is possible outside also, as keeping your head cool is important.
A sunburn decreases your body’s ability to cool itself and increases the risk of skin cancer. Make sure to reapply at least every 2 hours or after sweating.
EXERCISING IS EASY – WHEN DONE SAFLEY!
Exercising in the heat is a fantastic way to push your body and really feel a great workout!
Remember, heat-related illnesses are largely preventable. If this summer’s het proves to be too much of a challenge for your workouts, break them up into smaller sessions throughout the day.
Take these tips on-board and enjoy the beautiful sun outdoors!
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