Exercising in Warm Weather
It seems as though we have just stopped worrying about the cold weather when we have to start thinking about the warm weather. Thankfully you can avoid most of the pitfalls associated with exercising in warm weather. With a little knowledge and preparation you can really enjoy your exercise time.
Use Common Sense: This is a general catch-all because you are not immune to the potential problems of exercising in the heat. It will affect an experienced person who doesn’t apply common sense more than a novice who does.
Listen to your Body: Pay attention to early warning signals and stop exercising. Do not “push through” warning signals such as heat cramps, sunburn or dehydration. Get out of the sun, rest and re-hydrate. Last night I was out, planning to run 4-5 miles. It was hot and humid and I felt really tired after about 3 miles. So I stopped, no big deal; tomorrow is another day.
Avoid the Heat: Recently I attended a conference in Las Vegas and there was a planned run for 4:00pm one afternoon when the temperature was over 100F; how crazy is that! Thankfully the other runs were at 6:00am; a bit early for me, but better. You can avoid much of the midday heat by exercising during the relative cool of the early morning or late evening.
Check the Weather: You should be aware of the temperature and heat index, which is a measure that combines temperature with relative humidity. High humidity increases the risk of heat illness as the body’s sweating and cooling system are not as efficient in these conditions.
Protect your Skin: Use a water-resistant sunscreen which will minimize the sun’s burning effects, especially on your head, face, ears and neck ,and reduce your risk from skin cancers.
Dress Appropriately: Wear light, moisture-wicking top, shorts and socks – these help your body’s cooling system to work more effectively. You should also wear sun glasses or a sun visor to keep the sun off your eyes/face. Men with short or little hair should wear a hat.
Identification: You should get into the habit of wearing identification whenever you exercise just in case; and this applies whether you are walking, running, cycling, swimming or whatever. If you would like to learn more about a great identification system, click here.
As you may already know, I am a big believer in exercising outdoors, but it is important to make sure you stay safe while doing so. Staying hydrated is also very important, especially in warm weather, so I will focus on the importance of hydration in next week’s article.
Until the next time, remember my motto:
“You don’t have to be fit and healthy to start but you do have to start to be fit and healthy!”
By Jim Kirwan Get America Moving