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How to Work Out in the Heat

exercise_summerAll around the country, cities have reached record high temperatures this summer. But it’s not just the high temperatures that are of concern. Heat indexes are also at a record high. Even in the heat you want to maintain your workout routine, but how can you do that safely?

Time Your Workouts

If you check the weather, it will give you an hourly weather forecast letting you know when the temperature rises where you live. In the heat of the summer, you may have to adjust your workout time to ensure that you can workout safely. Although this change may be inconvenient, you may discover that getting up a little earlier to work out starts your day off right or that waiting until the sun starts to set brings your day to a calming end.

Stay Hydrated

When you have determined the best time for your workout, make sure you are drinking water in preparation for being out in the heat. If you plan on a workout longer than twenty to thirty minutes, consider taking a water bottle with you or stopping briefly for a water break during your exercise. When you finish your workout, make sure that you are drinking water to compensate for all the water you’ve lost sweating in the heat. By hydrating before, during, and after your workout, you are ensuring that your body has enough fluid to keep on moving.

Listen to Your Body

As you are working out, you will likely sweat more in the heat than in cooler temperatures. You will also likely experience a rise in your body temperature, which you might feel in your cheeks or in your extremities. These are normal reactions to working out in the heat, but if you start to experience dizziness or blurred vision, your body is telling you to stop and take a break. Your body may also be signaling that it is on its way to heat exhaustion or heat stress. You can take a break by lowering the activity level of your cardio like changing from running to walking or switching to a lower gear and intensity while you are biking. By reducing your level of cardio activity, you are allowing your body a chance to recover and reacclimate to the heat.

The summer heat shouldn’t deter you from sticking to your workout routine, but make sure you are following these tips to workout safely. If you are concerned or have questions about making the most of your workout and preventing injury while working out, you can always contact a physical therapist to help you develop a workout routine.

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