During the summer, it might feel like there are days where it’s too hot to even walk outside, much less exercise, but you shouldn’t let the heat deter you. Although dealing with the heat and humidity can be rough on your body if you’re exercising, you can still keep up with your workout routines throughout the hottest months of the year if you take a few extra precautions.
Pay Attention To The Three H’s
There are three things you should consider when you’re planning on heading outside for your exercise: heat, humidity, and haze.
The first two of the three H’s, heat and humidity, are pretty easy for you to predict. Before planning your daily routine, you can check a weather app on your smartphone, check the weather online, or turn on the news to hear what’s going on in your area. Try and plan your exercise in the morning or early evening when the temperatures are a little lower rather than the middle of the day. The third H, haze, is a little less familiar to some. Heat and humidity can exacerbate the air pollution in your area, making the summer months more challenging. Prior to heading outside, you can check AirNow to find out what the air pollution levels are. The site grades air levels based on various pollutant factors and gives a forecast for the following day. These pollutants are especially important to track for anyone with a heart condition.
How Exactly Do Heat And Humidity Affect The Body?
In order to keep you from overheating, your body sends blood to circulate through your skin, which means there is less blood circulating through your muscles. This change in circulation increases your heart rate. Humidity affects the way sweat evaporates from your body, which in turn drives up your body temperature even further.
Heat-related injuries or illnesses can fall on a broad spectrum, affecting different people in different ways. Minor issues could include cramping or lightheadedness, with more serious issues including heat exhaustion or heat stroke. You should be aware of the symptoms that surround heat exhaustion or heat stroke and how to handle them. Symptoms can include nausea or vomiting, weakness, headache, dizziness, confusion, increased heart rate, and problems with vision. If you feel any of these things coming on, alert a friend or family member and seek emergency care and monitoring if needed.
What Precautions Should I Take?
Your first concern should be the time of day you’re exercising. Avoid midday hours, as that is when the temperatures are highest and the sun is the strongest. Staying hydrated shouldn’t just focus around when you’re actually exercising, you should also be drinking water throughout the day, both before and after you begin your workout. Make sure you have some comfortable, lightweight exercise clothes to wear as well, and add a hat to protect your face. If you find that the heat is just too much to handle, consider finding a pool or water-based exercise routine, or join an air-conditioned fitness center for the summer. An important precaution you may not have thought of is having your heart health checked by one of the TrustCare Heart Clinic professionals. We offer quick and affordable heart screenings to give you a good picture of your current condition and any improvements you could be making for your heart health. Come by for an appointment this summer so you can better understand how your heart handles exercise, both during the summer and the rest of the year.