July's Physical Fitness Tip of the Month:
Six Tips for Exercising Safely in Hot Weather
We all know that Texas summers are oppressive, but we also know that it is important to keep our activity levels stable, regardless of 100 degree days. The following are six helpful tips to keep yourself as cool as possible while still trying to get your workout in during the long, hot Texas summer.
- Make sure to drink enough water. You need to make sure you are hydrated enough to replace the water you lose by perspiring. You should drink about 8-10 ounces of water every 20 minutes of exercise you complete and then at least another 8 ounces after exercising to replace the 2-3% of water your body loses on hot days.
- Ease Up. Especially if you are used to working out in cooler environments. Your body needs time to adjust. You might also need to accept the fact that you cannot do what you would normally do, given the heat.
- Avoid the hottest part of the day. Working out during midday will obviously be more difficult. Early morning exercise or working out after the sun begins to set will make a significant difference.
- Eat regular meals and snacks to maintain your energy. Make sure to eat juicy snacks to enhance your bodily fluids. Dry or salty snacks will use more of the water your body has available, limiting the amount in your reserves when you start your work out.
- Wear light-colored and light weight clothing. Keep it loose and light, this will help air circulate over your skin and the light colors will not absorb any extra heat from the sun.
- Know when to go back inside. If you feel an overall body weakness, become light-headed or dizzy, notice a headache or muscle ache, nausea, or that your heart rate has picked up more significantly than it does when you typically work out, you should head in for air conditioning ASAP. It is much safer to end your workout earlier than to push yourself into over-heating.