BEAT THE NJ HEAT AND STAY FIT THIS SUMMER WITH THESE TIPS!
Article written by: Noëlle C. Lusardi, C.P.F.T.
You’ve been exercising regularly, but now it’s summer — and NJ is hot. In fact, it can be dangerously hot, or at least feel as though it’s too hot to go work out. It’s important to practice ‘safe exercise’ in high heat and humidity.
When it’s hard to stay cool, following these tips can be very important to working out safely in the summer heat of NJ.
But don’t decide that this is the time for a little summer break from fitness, experts say, because you may be hurting yourself in the long run.
Be Smarter than the Humid Summer Heat
You can’t just ignore the heat because you could wind up with heat stress, heat stroke or other problems. So to keep the heat from melting your workouts, it is recommended that you:
1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Maintain salt-water balance by drinking plenty of fluids (preferably water) before, during, and after physical activity. Avoid alcoholic and caffeinated beverages. There are many varieties of water bottles out there. We recommend using ones that are BPA-free. Also, try to find ones that are easy to clean. Some have clips you can use to clip on your belt loops, others can be carried like a backpack. Find what you like best, and you’re more likely to stay safely hydrated.
2. Exercise smarter, not harder. Work out during the cooler parts of the day, preferably when the sun's radiation is minimal — early in the morning or in the evening. Decrease exercise intensity and duration at high temperatures or relative humidity. Also, don’t hesitate to take your exercise inside to the gym, the mall, or anyplace else where you can get in regular physical activity.
3. Ease into summer. Allow your body to adapt partially to heat and humidity through repeated gradual daily exposures.
4. Dress the part. Wear minimal amounts of clothing to facilitate cooling by evaporation. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing in breathable fabrics such as cotton. Sometimes, wearing a moist neck towel or facecloth can help keep you cool. Some come with a gel pack that you can refrigerate prior to wearing for one cool workout!
5. Team up. If you can, exercise with a friend or family member. It’s safer, and could be more fun. Plus, when you plan a workout with a friend, you’re more likely to do it!
Know what’s up
Because vigorous exercise in hot and humid conditions can lead to heat stress, heat stroke, and other heat stress-related complications, you should know the signs of danger to keep an eye out for.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
• Heavy sweating.
• Cold, moist skin, chills.
• Dizziness or fainting.
• Weak or rapid pulse.
• Muscle cramps.
• Fast, shallow breathing.
• Nausea, vomiting, or both.
Symptoms of heat stroke include:
• Warm, dry skin with no sweating.
• Strong and rapid pulse.
• Confusion and/or unconsciousness.
• High fever.
• Throbbing headaches.
• Nausea, vomiting, or both.
Take steps to cool down and get medical attention immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.
For more information on exercise and weight loss, visit us at: www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com.