Exercise considerations in the heat


Wow it’s been hot recently! Whether you’re a lover or hater of the sun it’s vital to look after ourselves and to take necessary precautions especially when exercising in this weather.

An abstract from the journal of sports sciences sums up well what happens to our body at this time.
Exercise in the heat poses a formidable challenge to the body’s ability to control its internal environment due to the high rates of metabolic heat production and heat gain by physical transfer from the environment. In an attempt to restrict the rise in core temperature, an increased rate of sweat secretion onto the skin is invoked. This may limit the rise in core temperature, and can prolong the time before a limiting temperature is attained, but it does so at the cost of a loss of body water and electrolytes. (RON MAUGHAN* and SUSAN SHIRREFFS)

I’ve listed below 4 tips to consider, when exercising in the heat, to help your body respond and recover as best as it can.

1) Try to avoid training at the hottest time of the day

During the peak heat hours our body has to work so much more harder to keep itself hydrated, why not aim for mornings or evenings when the weather tends to be cooler.

2) Hydrate before, during and after exercise

Always ensure you have prepared your body for exercise by making sure you are adequately hydrated prior to exercise.

During and after exercise ensure you take on regular fluids to help your body perform and recover.

3) Be sensible with your planned session

Its really important to potentially adjust your training plan when the heat increases. Factors to consider include

  • Increased rest times
  • Reduced time training
  • Reduced training volume or load

Rather than attempting your big session and then flaking out half way through, consider your environments to become more productive.

4) If you feel unwell, STOP!

Our body gives us many clear signs that’s it’s not in a good place! Symptoms can include

Cramping

Nausea

Lack of energy

Headaches and many more

Listen to your body, and start the recovery process instead of pushing it too hard!

References:
Journal of Sports Sciences, 2004, 22, 917–927 Exercise in the heat: challenges and opportunities RON MAUGHAN* and SUSAN SHIRREFFS

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