Working Out in the Heat

If you train for triathlon’s or hate working out in the gym all of the time, it’s inevitable that you will have to work out outside. With temperatures getting hotter with each passing day (especially here in Texas) ,you have to take a few precautions to avoid hurting yourself.

1. Acclimate to the heat

Start slow when you workout outside. Try less intense workouts and gradually work your way up.   Sometimes it takes your body up 14 days to acclimate to temperature changes.

2. Stay hydrated (duh)

Everyone knows to drink plenty of water when you are working out outside, but what you didn’t know if that if you are doing a strenuous work out for an extended period of time you have to watch your electrolytes and salt balance as well. All of these things work in a delicate balance to keep your body functioning properly. If you don’t get enough electrolytes and salt you can  experience hyponatremia which can lead to confusion, nausea, muscle cramps, seizures or even death in extreme cases.

A good rule of thumb is to drink 4 to 16 ounces of fluids (alternate between water and a sports drink) every 15 to 20 minutes of activity. Drink even if you’re not thirsty.

3. Time of day

Don’t work out during the hottest part of the day from 10am – 3pm, you will fry…. Not only should you check the temperate before heading out, check the heat index. That takes humidity into account which can make a HUGE difference when you workout.

4. Wear light colored clothing

Light colored material helps reflect the heat.  Try the specialty running gear, it’s made to keep your body cool.

5. Wear sunscreen

Yes, sista’s, you too. Just because you have darker skin doesn’t make you immune to the suns damaging rays.

6. Listen to your body

If something is off or if you start to feel light headed or dizzy don’t push it. This may be your body’s way of telling to sit down.

Take these few tips into account while doing your summer workout, your body will thank you for it.

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