How to deal with heat and humidity during outdoor workouts

August 16, 2016 | by Rob Baranowski
Categories: Healthy Driven Life

It may feel better to exercise indoors in the summer months when it’s hot and humid. But if you love the summer heat and want to enjoy being outside while it’s nice, outdoor workouts are still doable. You just need the correct preparation.

When it’s hot outside, your body reacts to the heat by producing sweat. The sweat on your skin evaporates and, in turn, cools the body down when the air is dry. But when the air is humid, sweat doesn't evaporate off your skin as well and the body has to work harder to cool itself down.

Follow these steps to stay cool when you’re working out:

  • Stay indoors during the afternoon when the temperature and sun are most intense.
  • Schedule your outdoor workout early in the morning or in the evening when the sun is not peaking and when the air temperature is lower. The best time to go for a run or walk outside is between the hours of 4 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. when the air quality is probably the best as there are not many cars on the road.
  • Wear lightweight, moisture wicking clothes.
  • Use a water belt. Carrying water can be difficult, but using a water belt is ideal as it keeps the water out of the way but yet available when needed.
  • Take it inside. When the temperature is 90 degrees or above, it is recommended that you exercise inside instead. The air temperature is just too hot for the body to maintain a safe temperature level.
  • Hydrate. Hydration is crucial for exercising outdoors. Avoid caffeinated beverages, as they increase the heart rate, which leads to excessive sweating and can quickly lead to dehydration.

If you want to know how much water you have lost during outdoor exercise, the best way to find out is to weigh yourself without any clothing before you exercise and then do the same when you return. The difference in weight is the water weight that you have lost during exercise.

It is recommended that you only drink enough fluids to come back to even and not more, as it can lead to over hydration. Drinking fluids the night before is always the best way to increase your proper hydration level. Drinking right before you exercise will not be enough.

Get moving! Drive your health forward at Edward-Elmhurst Health & Fitness.

Push your limit — try a Healthy Driven Fitness Challenge.

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