When exercising outdoors in the heat, take it easy because your body has to work harder. Exercising in hot weather puts a lot of stress on your heart and lungs which can increase your body temperature. When the body is unable to cool itself through perspiration, serious heat illnesses can occur, such as heat exhaustion and heatstroke. If not treated, heat related illnesses can lead to mental confusion, seizures, or even death. Below are some heat related symptoms that you should be aware of:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Weakness, fainting
- Headache, dizziness
- Irritability or mental confusion
- Pale or clammy skin
- Dry pale skin, with no perspiration
- Hot, red skin resembling sun burn
- Mood changes
If you experience these symptoms, stop exercising, get out of the heat, drink water and wet your skin. If you don’t feel better within an hour, please contact your doctor.
Here are some preventive tips to keep cool in the hot weather during your workout:
- Drink plenty of water – Your body’s ability to sweat and cool down depends on adequate hydration. Drink water before, during, and after your workout.
- Dress appropriately – Wear loose fitting lightweight clothing. This helps sweat evaporate from your skin quicker. Dark colors absorb heat.
- Work out early in the morning or late evening – The temperature is cooler.
- Go to the Mall – Walking brisk laps is good exercise. It’s cool and can be done anytime of the day.
- Go swimming – This keeps you cool and is a great workout, outside or in.
Slow your routine down and take breaks often. Listen to your body. It gives you warning signs when you have gone overboard especially in the heat.
How much do you think the average person perspires doing an hour of a vigorous exercise?
A. One tablespoon
B. One cup
C. One pint
D. One quart
Answer: D. Exercise takes a lot of water from our bodies. That’s why it’s very important to drink water before, during and after exercising.