When it’s warm outside, keeping your cool is so important, especially when you are exercising or spending time outdoors. Use these tips to help stay cool during the warmer months of the year!
When Working Out. When the temps are high, your best bet is to workout indoors, in an air-conditioned space, and allow yourself plenty of time to cool down indoors before heading back out. You may want to focus on specific, targeted movements, like strength training for upper and lower body and core, taking your time to not rush through reps. This will still give you a strength-training, muscle-building workout, but without the high-intensity, fast pace that can lead to overheating. My Stop the Clock Fitness Plan has three complete workouts for these areas, with step-by-step instructions, so check it out, it may help as an alternative workout in the warm months for you.
Also consider doing shorter workouts throughout the day. A 5-minute quickie cardio in the AM before your shower, another when you get home, etc. Every little bit counts, and it’s easier on your system than a longer cardio workout when the temperatures are hot. When in doubt, put your workout on hold – it’s better to take a few days off than risk heat stroke.
Drink Lots of Water. You NEED to hydrate yourself regularly when it’s hot out – it helps your body regulate temperature through perspiration. If you are being active, consider an electrolyte-enhancing beverage, otherwise plain water is good. Invest in a reusable water bottle and sip throughout the day.
If You Are Feeling Hot: Whether it’s from a workout or exposure to warm temps, a quick way to cool down is to put ice cubes on your wrists (holding them under cold running water for 30 sec helps, too). This will help lower the temperature in the blood in your arms, recirculating through the body to help you cool down. The back of the neck is a good place to try this as well, with an ice cube or cool, wet towel.
Know the Difference Between Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion: Heat exhaustion is when you feel hot, tired, and sweaty – you can usually address this quickly through a cool shower, cold beverages and taking it easy in an air-conditioned space. Heat stroke is much more serious – it’s symptoms include headache, dizziness, red, hot dry skin, confusion, nausea, and a temperature over 106 degrees F. It can lead to coma and death, so be aware of these symptoms, and keep a lookout for elderly people around you, as well as athletes who are working out outdoors during the hottest parts of the day. Seek medical attention and get the person to a cool, shaded place immediately.
Remember that warm weather should be enjoyed – and can be!! – with the right preventive tactics!