Anyone who melted over the grill during the holiday or ventured outside for a game of golf knows that this time of year, all you have to do is stand there to break a sweat. And if you're trying to keep up an exercise program - especially if your activity of choice is outdoors - this time of year is no picnic.
Exercising in heat and humidity comes with dangers. With precautions, it's certainly good to keep up the exercises. Here are some tips for burning off those hot dogs and chips in the July heat.
Exercising in hot weather puts extra stress on your cardiovascular system. Both the exercise itself and the air temperature increase your body temperature. To dissipate heat, more blood circulates through your skin. This leaves less blood for your muscles, which increases your heart rate. If the humidity is high, your body faces added stress because sweat doesn't readily evaporate from your skin — which only pushes your body temperature higher.
Under normal conditions, your skin, blood vessels and perspiration level adjust to the heat. But these natural cooling systems may fail if you're exposed to high temperatures and humidity for too long. The result may be a heat-related illness, such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion or heatstroke, mayoclinic.com reports.
1. If you choose to exercise outdoors, make it during the cooler morning or evening hours.
2. Drink plenty of fluids before, during and after the work out. Dehydration caused by excessive sweating can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. If you're thirsty, you're already getting dehydrated.
3. Dress for the heat in loose-fitting, light-colored and lightweight clothes. Cotton is good when sweat-soaked because it has a cooling effect.
4. Use common sense. As a rule, the higher the air temperature, the lower the humidity must be to avoid risk of heat injury. When air temperature exceeds 80 degrees, you are at risk if the humidity exceeds 50 percent.
5. Take time to adjust. The body takes seven to 14 days to time to acclimatize to hot weather, so gradually increase your exercise time.
6. If you see signs that you're putting your health at risk, try swimming instead or take your workout indoors. If you don't have a membership to a local fitness center, get yourself a DVD - you'll appreciate it in January when it's too cold outside, Huntington Herald Dispatch says.
Prepared by Alexander Timoshik
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