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Guest Blog: Summertime Sweatin’ by Rena Valentino

Summer

Sizzling summertime can cause serious sweating when you’re taking your workouts outdoors.  Is it beneficial?  Is it safe? Here’s some info and tips to ensure you’re hitting your best training sessions, safely.

Benefits

Pushing yourself in hot-weather heat could help improve your performance in running, cycling, or other fitness-based activities. So long as the right precautions are taken, hot workouts may give you a boost if you’re training for an endurance event.

Increased Endurance/PerformanceYou are challenging your body in the hot weather, training it to acclimate its systems to function properly at those levels of heat, which improves your overall capacity for endurance in both the heat and cooler temperatures.  This is definitely more of a benefit for endurance athletes, not average exercisers.

Detoxifying – Any exercising causes a person’s muscles to contract, producing heat.  If this heat is not transferred from the body to the surrounding environment, the individual’s internal temperature can rise to life-threatening levels, which is why our bodies sweat – our form of air conditioning to release the heat.  So, working out in a hot temperature will increase the sweating because the surrounding environment that your body is releasing into is also hot, especially in high humidity where the sweat doesn’t evaporate.  Perspiration is primarily made up of water, but also includes minerals (electrolytes).  As long as you’re flushing your body with adequate water, you are detoxifying by flushing out other waste minerals/toxins.

Best Practices
You want to make sure you stay safe while exercising in the heat, as life-threatening complications can arise if you’re not prepared.

Hot-weather tips:

  • Be sure to hydrate adequately before, take breaks during and refuel with water after your workout – like, a lot.  Your body needs to make up for all the water lost through sweating.
  • Wear sweat-wicking material for clothing in order for your sweat to whisk away from your skin and evaporate more easily to keep your body cool.
  • In the midst of hot days, get your workout in during the morning hours before it heats up to the hottest temperature.
  • If it’s higher than 50% humidity, keep your workout indoors, unless you are acclimated to the heat and your body is able to function properly.
  • Choose covered and shaded areas and trails.
  • Wear sunscreen in the sun, and even on cloudy days.
  • Listen to your body – stop immediately if you’re feeling weak, dizzy, faint, or nauseous.

Beware of:

Heat Exhaustion – Common signs to look out for:

  • Confusion
  • Dark-colored urine (a sign of dehydration)
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea
  • Pale skin
  • Profuse sweating
  • Rapid heartbeat

Heat StrokeCommon signs to look out for:

  • Fainting
  • Throbbing headache
  • Dizziness and light-headedness
  • Lack of sweating despite the heat
  • Red, hot, and dry skin
  • Muscle weakness or cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid heartbeat, which may be either strong or weak
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Behavioral changes such as confusion, disorientation, or staggering
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness

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*Please be aware that this article is not a diagnosis, prescription or recommendation for any individual.  Before you start a new exercise or food program, you should always talk it over with your doctor. He or she may have specific recommendations — or warnings — depending on your health and the other medicines you take.

 

Fitness running safety safety Summer summer running Sweat workout

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