Everyone loves getting active and breaking a healthy sweat in the sun.
But during these hot summer months overheating poses a very real concern.
As you exercise, your body temperature can rise as high as 104˚ Fahrenheit. Performing in hot environments, coupled with this rise in body temperature, can easily lead to overheating. The real danger lies with the ease in which overheating leads to heat exhaustion; a precursor to life-threatening heatstroke.
Affinity Whole Health appreciates fitness-forward lifestyles and strives to provide the healthiest approach to attaining your optimal form. Get fit and stay safe with these heat health highlights.
It goes without saying but also can’t be said enough.
You have to stay hydrated if you want to remain healthy while active in the sun. Physical exertion and hot environments both cause you to sweat more than normal. This further drains your body of fluids and leads to poorer overall performance.
The “Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology” found that it only takes a two percent dip in your body’s hydration for your performance to begin to decline.
One hour of exercise can lead to the loss of more than a quart of water. Without replacing these fluids your body will not be able to produce the perspiration needed to cool itself.
Athletes and fitness enthusiasts who reside in regions where temperatures are traditionally hotter over longer periods of time may appear to handle the heat better than those that do not. This is thanks to acclimatization.
Once your body acclimates to a hotter environment, you will perspire sooner and at increased levels. The effect also raises your blood plasma volume. As these physiological acclimations occur you will be able to exercise longer and with more intensity in the heat with less risk of overheating.
Not allowing your body to acclimatize to a hot environment can lead to rapid electrolyte depletion. Without electrolytes muscle contraction, fatigue, and inability to maintain a proper rate of perspiration can easily occur.
In order for your body to perform at optimal levels during the summer, take the early weeks of June to start out slow and measured with your physical exertion. Steadily increase your level of output without forcing yourself and by the time the dog days of summer arrive you’ll be at the head of the pack.
DRESS FOR SUCCESS
Make sure you’re geared up in the right attire before you start your exercise routine. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing that allows proper ventilation and full range of motion. Tight-fitting and dark clothing holds in heat and inhibits sweat evaporation.
While some body sculpting and weight-loss exercises encourage sweat production through heavy or confining clothing, this must be done with extreme caution during days of increased temperature to avoid heat exhaustion.
Certain fitness apparel with moisture-wicking fabrics have lighter-weight summer designs that can be employed during your exercises. These materials allow for proper sweat production while still allowing for your body’s pores to breathe.
Just because we love the sun doesn’t mean we have to spend every waking hour under its rays. Even while we’re outside enjoying the day we can stay physically active the smart way by seeking out the shade.
Try performing your exercise routine underneath the shade of a tree, the base of a hillside or valley, or simply underneath a shade umbrella or tent. Simply by avoiding direct exposure to the sunlight can work to keep your heart rate lower for a longer period of time, further eliminating the risk of overheating.
Be sure to keep these Heat Healthy tips in mind while you’re out enjoying these sun-soaked summer days. If you’d like to learn more fitness-forward lifestyle tips please visit our Patient Resource Center.