How to Exercise in Summer

Posted by Lakshmi Gopal on Sat, Jul 30, 2011  
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How can fitness fanatics maintain the rigor of a daily exercise routine during the hot summer months? The heat wave sweeping the nation has made outdoor exercise uncomfortable and a health hazard. Exercising when it's very hot outside can cause a number of problems. Some are minor, like dehydration, sunburn, heat rash and an exhausting workout. Others can turn into major problems like heat exhaustion or a heat stroke.


Many of us don't know we're overdoing our daily walk until something begins to go really wrong. Our body needs to adapt to the different weather conditions throughout the year. A sudden change in climate or temperature may affect us adversely.


Here are a few tips to exercise safely in hot weather:


Change the time of exercise: If you were used to waking up at a leisurely 8 am during the colder months and hit the track at 9 am, you need to rethink your timings. The sun can be really hot and high at 9 am during summers. So, wake up at 6 am instead and set out by 6.30 max for a good 1 hour of exercise so that you are back home by 7.30 am – when it’s still cool.


Try working out in the evenings: If you can’t wake up so early in the morning, then night time is excellent for your daily walk. Set out at 7 pm and finish your routine by 8 pm, so that you can shower and get ready for a light dinner.


It helps to watch your heart rate: High temperatures and humidity can send your heart rate soaring. Running, walking or cycling at the same pace that you did when it was cooler may push you beyond safe limits. A heart rate monitor would help in such conditions - if it's very high, you would know when to stop or go for a lighter workout indoors.


Are you sweating enough?: In case you sweat very lightly or don’t sweat at all, take it as a major warning sign that your body can't regulate your temperature and that you should stop your workout and head indoors.


Signs of heat fatigue: If you feel nauseated, fatigued, dizzy or extremely hot, go indoors at once. Get a cool drink, a cold shower, etc., that can help avoid heat stroke.


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