Hydrate – Maintaining good hydration during hot weather is important to prevent dehydration and allows you to perform at the best of your ability. Drinking will help your sweating system do its job and will help your body effectively keep fluid levels, body temperature and energy levels at a normal level. Be smart about your hydration before, during and after exercise in the hot sun. Wear hydration belt, have water near by or on hand, exercise close to home or have water on your route and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink fluids.
Baby Steps – Getting your body acclimatised to the heat is important. In the beginning of summer and the heat, start with some shorter and slower than normal workouts. On subsequent days go a little farther and faster, it takes the body about 10 days to acclimatise to the heat. The fitter you are the better your body can tolerate exercise in the heat and the less likely you are to get injured.
Listen to your body –Early signs and symptoms of heat illness include fatigue, discomfort, and light headed, cessation of sweating, disorientation and nausea. Early recognition of these symptoms is key, stop exercising and find somewhere cool with good hydration. It is harder for your body to train in the heat, so don’t try and push yourself to perform at the same level, instead maintain the same level of exertion rather than going as fast as you would on cooler days.
Go early or late – Find a time that works for you, either early morning or later evening when the temperatures are cooler and you can avoid the high temperatures of the day. This may mean you have to change your schedule during the summer months.
Cover up – Good sunscreen is a must, a tan is nice but sun burn and skin cancer aren’t. Sun burn can reduce the body’s ability to cool itself. Additional covering in the form of a hat, sunglasses and light weight clothing will also provide and extra layer of protection from the sun.
Have a back-up plan – If your concerned about the heat then embrace the indoors, workout out in the gym or on the treadmill, try a pool session which includes swimming and/or aqua aerobics.
Dress to sweat – Wear light weight loose fitting clothing which enables sweat to evaporate and keeps you cooler. Avoid dark colours and everyday clothing which can trap sweat and heat against the body.
Foundation Sports and Rehabilitation Clinic
78 First Ave, Tauranga, 3110