How to Workout in 100+ Degree Heat
Weather experts have predicted that it’s going to get up to 105 degrees today, where I live in southern NH. Those crazy temperatures have prompted me to write this quick note about exercising in the summer heat.
If you are dedicated to fitness, that means you are exercising even when it’s 110 degrees outside in the middle of summer. Unfortunately, that level of dedication can get you into trouble if you don’t make safe decisions. The kind of trouble that can put you in the hospital or worse.
Here are 3 mistakes that people commonly make when they exercise in the dead heat of summer.
Wear proper clothing
Cotton is your summer nemesis. When you exercise, cotton clothing will hold sweaty moisture, which can cause chaffing and rashes. Cotton socks swell with moisture, causing them to lose their shape, which can lead to blisters – the deadly enemy of lower body training. Sweaty clothing also weighs you down, making exercise harder, which causes you to sweat more. It is a dangerous cycle.
Instead of cotton, choose polyester and dry fit clothing. Those materials are better at managing sweat, which will keep you more comfortable and much healthier while you exercise.
Make healthy beverage choices
You workout hard and need hydration. Do you choose high-calorie high-sugar drinks? What about caffinated beverages like iced coffee and energy drinks? If so, all of your hard work is going to be sabotaged, and the caffeine will just dehydrate you more.
So you don’t want to drink 2 gallons of plain water day in and day out. That’s understandable, but just because you need to hydrate, doesn’t mean you should choose just anything. Lower sugar drinks like the new Gatorade G2 can be diluted with 50% water to make a very low calorie, high electrolyte drink that has better taste than just plain water. There are also plenty of diet drinks you can choose, like diet iced tea, low-cal flavored water, or even Fresca.
After an intense workout, you should still choose a proper post-workout drink that’s high in carbs and protein, but there’s no need to load up on sugary garbage before or during your workout, or after you drink your initial post-workout drink. Water is important, electrolytes are vital, but caffiene and high sugar drinks should generally be avoided.
Avoid the sun
Have you ever experienced heat exhaustion? Sun poisoning? Dehydration? Severe sun burns? Trust me, you don’t want to experience any of those. Exercising in the sun is a great way to soak up vitamin D and get a tan, but it’s not good for much else (and quite frankly, getting a tan is not healthy).
Too much time spent in the sun can overload your body’s mechanism for regulating body temperature. This will lead to fatigue, nausea, dizziness, headaches, and muscle cramping.Drinking a massive amount of iced cold water can help, but ultimately you’ll need to stay out of the sun.
Be sure to wear plenty of sunscreen and consider a brimmed hat, visor, and sunglasses. Sunscreen should be at least SPF 30, although SPF 50 is better, and SPF 50+ should be used for kids.
Read this past article that I wrote to help you choose the right sunscreen. I’ve gotta update the product links though.