Fitness & Wellness tips based on Science
Do you neglect your workouts in the summer? Find out how you can exercise safely in Hot weather.
What is heat illness?
It happens when your body isn't able to maintain it's normal core temperature, and the body ceases to function. It can happen over a period of two or three days when the body is dehydrated. It is dangerous to exercise in temperatures above 82 degrees F unless you allow your body to gradually acclimatize. It can take up to two or three months. Hydration plans are a must, even for trained athletes. There are three levels of heat illness.
Water is not always enough if you are in hot conditions over a long period of time. Activities like cycling, running, and hiking are longer-term activities that might require more than just water. Remember that the amount of humidity elevates your risk.
Dr. Hamid Sadrl recommends you mix 50% water with 50% sports drink, but orange juice works too. Avoid sugary sports drinks if you can. His site offers more information at www.active.com. A good recovery drink contains potassium. Running stores offer a wide variety of drinks. I like Ultima-it has a nice taste and comes in different flavors, and it has no sugar or gluten.
Remember that hydration needs are individual. One way to check if you are hydrated is to check the color of your urine. If urine is dark, then you need more fluids. The mayo clinic advises that you work out at the coolest time of day. Short intervals of about 20 mins will work. You might find that the best thing to do, is workout near a body of water.
Check out the Mayo clinic's site, mayoclinic.com for more information.
You can work out in the heat with a little planning, but it's best to keep it short. Wearing a Heart rate monitor helps you keep your HR in a safe zone. One little trick I use is to wear a white hat that has been dipped in cold water. I put it on as I am going out the door.
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