Hot-weather Workout Tips

Hot-weather Workout Tips

Going for your usual run or bike ride in hot temperatures can bring scary health hazards if you aren’t adequately prepared. Heat can place strain on the cardiovascular system and cause serious illnesses such as dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke. Heat exhaustion, when someone’s body temperature skyrockets to 104 degrees or higher, can develop from enduring many days of extreme temperatures and failing to properly rehydrate. If untreated, heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, a life-threatening condition that occurs when the body stops sweating and is unable to cool itself, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

[See In Pictures: Bikes for Aspiring Cyclists[1].]

Sweating is a main way that the body cools itself; it’s the result of water being brought to the surface of the skin through sweat glands, says Michael Bergeron, a professor in the department of pediatrics at the University of South Dakota’s Sanford School of Medicine. We only begin to cool down once sweat evaporates; when it has trouble evaporating, such as in humid weather, our risk for overheating goes up, he explains. Signs of heat illness include nausea, cramps, headache, dizziness, lack of appetite, fatigue, and dark or amber urine, which signals dehydration.

Exercising indoors to stay cool may not always be an option. But you can still get in a good workout on warm-weather days by taking these precautions:

Acclimatize at low intensity

Adjust your workout when the heat wave hits. “The biggest mistake people make is that they don’t work up to the heat and acclimate. It takes about one to two weeks to acclimatize to perform the best in the heat,” says Samantha Clayton, a personal trainer and track coach based in Malibu, Calif. Clayton, who competed as a sprinter in the 2000 Olympic Games. She says that Olympic athletes arrive early at their events to acclimate to local temperatures.

To prepare for and adapt to hot weather, begin with shorter distances at an easy effort, says Robbie Ventura, former professional cyclist on the U.S. Postal Service cycling team. Next, lengthen the easy workouts and, after about four or five rides (or runs), you can increase intensity. As you adapt, your body will hold more moisture and become more effective at cooling itself.

[See Your Guide to Exercising Through the Ages[2].]

Hydrate

Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to hydrate. Two hours before heading out the door, down 16 ounces of an electrolyte-fueled drink such as Gatorade, Clayton says. Drink another 6 to 8 ounces of water 10 to 15 minutes into your workout (yes, you should always run with water), he says. Even if you exercise briefly, replace fluids early in your workout.

Drinking electrolytes, found in sports drinks, will replace sodium and potassium that are lost when sweating. If you are low on electrolytes, you may experience heart palpitations, nausea, and headaches.

Cycling

Evidence shows that even a 1 to 2 percent loss in body weight from fluid loss can boost your core temperature, putting you in the danger zone for dehydration. Weigh yourself before and after exercising to determine any amount of weight loss, and then drink 16 to 24 ounces of a sports drink to replace fluids for every pound lost. (Take note: This is not a safe way to lose weight!)

Stay cool

Keep cool even before you hit the pavement. Olympic athletes will take a cold shower, cool off in an air-conditioned room, or even sit in an ice bath before exercising in the heat, Bergeron says. Eating crushed ice before a long workout will help delay a rise in body temperature as well, he adds.

To stay cool during long rides and hill climbs, Tour de France cyclists put ice cubes in a sock, which they place on their backs, says Ventura, who spoke to U.S. News from France, where he was attending the race. To wick away moisture, the cyclists also wear light-color jerseys and unzip them to allow for ideal circulation.

Rise and shine early

Be like an Olympian, and get an early start. Pre-dawn runs or bike rides can help you beat the heat, and you’ll benefit from better air quality before the mercury rises. “You need quality oxygen to help cool you down, so take a nice deep breath before you exercise,” Clayton says. “Then your blood can do its work and get to the surface of your skin to cool you down.”

Slather on sunscreen

Prevent sunburns, which can raise your body temperature. Apply sunscreen, but be sure it’s not so thick that it blocks your pores and prevents you from sweating.

[See Try These At-Home Sunburn Treatments[3]. ]

References

  1. ^ In Pictures: Bikes for Aspiring Cyclists (health.usnews.com)
  2. ^ Your Guide to Exercising Through the Ages (health.usnews.com)
  3. ^ Try These At-Home Sunburn Treatments (health.usnews.com)

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Category: Cycling, Fat Loss

4 Responses to “Hot-weather Workout Tips”

  1. Workout Tips? I need some workout tips to help me gain some strengh. I am 18 and planning on being a cop i just like tonight wreashled with my dad he weights about 250 and man i had a hard time . so i gonna need some tips on work out. anyone with some ideas and tips please throw them my way
    also i weigfht 150 and i am 6’2′ very tall and skinny guy!

    View Comment
    • HealthNut Reply

      Keep it clean and simple. You need to dedicate about 4 days a week to your work out routine and about 2 hours for each work out. Each work out should start with a warm up that gets your body streched out and loosened up. This is best with cardio as that helps to build stamina (a cop needs to chase the robber). Get on the tread mill and do about a 30 min jog. Better yet, use a elipitical as this is better for your joints and helps to build “core strength” by woukingout your core muscle group.

      Next, you need to have a balanced work out that includes free weights, machines and others basics.

      Do 5 sets of 30 crunches – Bump this to 5 sets of 50 as you get better.

      Do push ups in the same # as above.

      Free weight dumb bells 5 sets of 20
      Bench press 5 sets of 10
      Use the butterfly machine and a few other machines (I forget each name)

      At the end of your workout, do another 15 mins of cardio or better yet, swiming.

      As well, you need to start eating smart. Without trying to diet, eat what you normally eat but try not to eat processed foods (hot dogs, junk foods, NO BEER).

      Good luck

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  2. Workout Tips? Want to get abs asap, need workout tips
    thanks

    View Comment
    • HealthNut Reply

      Best video ever made for abs. Shows every ab workout and it’s quick.

      View Comment
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