It makes a great excuse to skip your routine, particularly if it’s humid and sticky and you don’t feel like doing anything. This summer has been particularly difficult in that regard.
And yes, it can be dangerous to overdo exercise in the heat. But that doesn’t mean you need to plant yourself in an air-conditioned movie theater without moving until the end of September, even if the idea seems appealing.
Your body was built to move, and it needs to move regularly to stay healthy, even in hot weather. Human beings labored in the sun without air conditioning for literally thousands of years. We’ve had air conditioning for only about the last sixty of those years. And Americans are now entirely adverse to the concept of exerting themselves in the heat.
But heat keeps your muscles warm. You can stretch more, extend yourself farther without injury. And you’ll be fine, as long as you use a little common sense.
The Mayo clinic and other health experts recommend that you drink plenty of non-caffeinated beverages before and during your workout, and don’t elevate your heart rate too high. If you can’t talk, you’re probably working too hard and should slow down a bit. During hot weather, your body sends extra blood to the skin to help cool your core body temperature. This leaves less blood to operate your muscles, and that in turn increases your heart rate. You’re working harder without moving as much.
Remember to drink, even if you don’t feel thirsty. If you sweat and don’t replenish lost fluids, you could end up with a heat-related illness like heat cramps, heat exhaustion or even heat stroke. If you stay hydrated and don’t work so hard that you are unable to carry on a conversation, you’ll be fine. Sweaty but fine.
A body at rest tends to stay at rest. A body in motion will stay in motion and look better doing it. Keep your body in motion for at least part of the time, even when it’s hot.
Excuses are the enemy!
For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/exercise/HQ00316
What’s with the “non-caffeinated”? Is that to keep from artificially accelerating heart rate or for more efficient hydration? Alcoholic beverages would seem to be the other side of the coin. Would they be helpful (before or after) to moderate heartbeat or do they impede hydration?
Both alcohol and caffeine have a dehydrating effect on the body, so neither is a good choice while exercising in hot weather. So if you’re out doing stuff and having a few beers or iced coffee, you might not feel thirsty but still need to drink water anyway. Good question about accelerating the heart rate. I’ll have to see if I can find any research on it. Thanks!