Beat the Heat: Tips for Staying Cool While Working Out

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The weather is so unpredictable in the Northeast. While it was scorching hot a few weeks ago, we were in sweatshirts just a few days ago. And though we may be enjoying nice, fairly mild weather as far as June goes, I’ve heard that this summer is predicted to be intensely hot.

When it comes to the weather it’s better to be prepared. So, I’ve decided to share with you a few tips on how to beat the heat and stay cool while working out this summer.

Beat the Heat: Tips for Staying Cool While Working Out

Beat the Heat: Tips for Staying Cool While Working Out

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are no joke. Heat exhaustion, characterized by heavy sweating, rapid pulse, headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness and cold calmly skin, occurs when your body overheats. A more dangerous cousin to heat exhaustion is heat stroke, a complete failure of the heat regulating mechanisms in the body. Signs of heat stroke include hot, dry, bright red skin, a rapid pulse, labored breathing and an elevated core temperature of 105 degrees or greater.

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Heat stroke requires an immediate trip to the emergency room. Heat exhaustion is not as serious, but can turn into heat stroke if not treated. If you suspect you are suffering from heat exhaustion, stop exercising immediately, move to a cool, well-ventilated place, drink fluids, lay down and elevate your feet. For more information on heat-related illnesses, take a look at this fun graphic from ACE Fit.

In order to prevent any heat-related illnesses, check out the tips below.

1. Check the heat index

The heat index are guidelines for when you can safely exercise based on both the air temperature and humidity. It’s what it actually feels like to your body. Our bodies use perspired sweat to cool off. If there’s too much moisture in the air, we will have a difficult time cooling off because the sweat cannot easily be evaporated. You can check out the heat index from the National Weather Service.

2. Work out earlier or later in the day 

Set your alarm clock for morning or wait until the evening to workout outside. Fortunately, nap time takes place during the hottest part of the day, so I have no choice but to avoid it.

3. Drink plenty of fluids 

It’s important to drink plenty of fluids regardless of the weather, but it’s especially important to drink fluids in the heat since body fluids are lost at a faster rate. Drink water before, during and after your workout. Keep a water bottle nearby and take small, frequent sips. Try your best to drink 7-10 ounces of fluids every 10-20 minutes of exercise. Check out more hydration tips from ACE. If you are looking for a water bottle, I highly recommend this Aladdin water bottle. It has kept my water colder longer than any other water bottle I have tried.

Aladdin Water Bottle

4. Wear lightly-colored, breathable clothing 

Light-colored clothing reflects the heat from the sun better than darker colors. It’s also best to look for material that’ll allow ventilation. Look for “quick-drying” or “moisture-wicking” on the label. I was never much of a hat person, but I’m finding that they are necessary for keeping the sun out of my face. I just use a simple baseball hat. Don’t forget about your spots bra! Look for a lightweight bra that’ll provide plenty of airflow.

5. Slow down the pace 

It takes approximately 7-10 days to acclimate to the heat, so be sure to slow down and take your time. For the first few super hot days, reduce the intensity and length of your workouts. As you get more comfortable, you can slowly pick up the pace.

**The most important piece of advice is to listen to your body. If you start to feel that the heat is too much for you, back off. Try working out inside instead or take the day to rest or stretch. 

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Beat the Heat: 5 Tips for Staying Cool While Working Out This Summer

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