Whether you’re running, playing football, or walking the dog, there are some simple rules to follow to ensure that you avoid any heat-related illnesses.
After all, our bodies are already pretty warm even before working up a sweat. Increasing our core temperature means we put ourselves at a much higher risk of heatstroke, heat exhaustion and dehydration.
So, what steps can you take to reduce the chances of this happening during a workout?
Firstly, you need to get your body acclimatised to the heat. It can take your body up to 14 days to adjust to a heatwave, so don’t expect that you will be able to do the same kind of workout as you would normally do straight away. Spend some time outside getting your body used to the warmer temperatures before working up gradually to your full routine.
Next up, you need to stay on top of your hydration. Your body will be losing much more fluid in warmer temperatures as it sweats to cool down, so make sure that you replace it frequently to avoid dehydration and burn out. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise and eat plenty of foods with a high water content such as fruit and vegetables.
It can be easy to forget, but one of the most important things to remember is to wear sunscreen. Pack some in your gym bag so that you can top it up. Dress in light colours and a loose fit to reflect light and encourage air flow.
Choosing the right time of day to exercise is vital in making sure that you don’t overheat. Either get out first thing in the morning or late in the evening when temperatures are much cooler and there is less humidity in the air.
It’s also super important to notice the signs of heat illnesses. If you start to feel dizzy, fatigued, weak, nauseous, or hot then you must stop your exercise and get yourself cooled down immediately. Head to an air-conditioned area or a shady spot and sip some water.
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