Exercise is a fundamental part of fitness, and so is doing it safely. How to exercise in the heat is also just as important, as doing so incorrectly can be extremely dangerous. From heat stroke to dehydration, there are many things that can go wrong. So what can we do?
Simple, easy, yet often forgotten about. Hydration doesn’t and shouldn’t only occur when exercise is taking place, but also well before and after. Drink at least 600ml of water 2-3 hours before you start exercising, and at least 300ml straight after.
You want your pee to be as clear as possible, and checking this is the easiest way to make sure you stay hydrated through the heat.
Don’t overdo it
It’s easy to see the sun and be inspired to do a really tough workout, but this can often do more harm than good. Learning how to exercise in the heat is all about pacing yourself, and accept that the heat will have an effect on your performance.
You may be body conscious and not feel comfortable in shorts, but you really need to accept that no one cares what you look like. People sweat and grimace and jiggle when they exercise, and no one actually gives a shit. Wear light, breathable clothing, and don’t try to cover up in tracksuits or jackets.
Cover yourself in sun cream or choose sun protective layers, that still allow your skin to breathe.
If you’re on holiday and are used to cooler temperatures, don’t dive straight into intensive exercise on day one. Allow your body to adapt to the temperature, and gradually increase the intensity. This limits your chance of over exerting your body and getting heatstroke.
If you feel these symptoms, be careful:
- Muscle cramps
- Nausea or vomiting
- Sweating extensively
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Low blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Visual problems
If you feel these any of these symptoms, you need to start cooling down. Take off clothes, drink water, and sit in a cold shower or bath. If you feel the same or worse after 30 minutes, seek help. This is because these can lead to heatstroke, which can be extremely serious.