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Is it safe to exercise outdoors in hot weather?

Is it safe to exercise outdoors in hot weather?

Exercising in hot weather increases the risk ofheat exhaustion, heat stroke and dehydration.

Signs of heat exhaustion include excessive sweating, clammy skin, weakness, weak pulse, dizziness, and headache. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop exercising, move to a cool place, and drink plenty of fluids (4, 5).

If these symptoms are left untreated, they can lead to heatstroke, which is characterized by a body temperature of 40 ° C or above, hot, dry skin, disorientation and, in rare cases, seizures. Heat stroke is a medical emergency and requires immediate medical attention (4, 5).

While you can certainly exercise outdoors in hot weather, there are some important considerations to keep in mind for your safety (1, 2:

  • Temperature : Always check the current and forecast temperature before exercising outdoors. The higher the temperature, the greater the risk of dehydration and heat stroke.
  • Humidity : When humidity increases, there are more water droplets in the air. This makes it harder for your body to dissipate heat and sweat.
  • Hydration : It is important to drink water during any exercise, but it is crucial when exercising in hot weather due to the increased sweating. So be sure to drink water regularly to replace lost fluids and add a tablet if you wish. Find our full range of lozenges
  • Experience : If you've never exercised in hot weather, start slowly and lower your normal intensity until your body adjusts. It usually takes up to two weeks.

The higher the temperature and humidity, the more likely you are to suffer from heat-related disorders, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Also, watch out for high percentages of relative humidity, which increase your risk despite lower outdoor temperatures.

What should you eat and drink when exercising in the heat?

Getting adequate fluids before, during, and after exercise will help reduce the risk of dehydration (2, 7, 8)

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  • Before exercise : Make sure you are adequately hydrated before exercising. For prolonged and intense exercise, drink 5-10 ml per kg of body weight at least 2-4 hours before exercise. Since exercising in the heat requires more physical exertion, be sure to eat a nutritious meal that includes healthy carbohydrates, protein, and fat 1-3 hours before exercise.
  • During exercise : Replenish fluids lost during exercise. A good general rule of thumb is to drink a few sips of water every 10 to 20 minutes of exercise. If you are sweating excessively, you can opt for a sports drink to replenish the lost electrolytes.
  • After exercise : For most people, you can eat and drink as you normally would. If you have lost a significant amount of body weight (2% or more) through sweating, drink 1,5 liters for every kg of body weight lost. 

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Front feed and post workout largely depends on the type of exercise you are performing.

Tips for Exercising in Hot Weather

To exercise safely in hot weather, consider the following points (2, 9):

  • Wear lightweight, breathable fabrics.
  • Stay hydrated with water or a sports drink. 
  • Start slowly and decrease the intensity if necessary.
  • Stop if you notice symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
  • Wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen
  • Exercise early in the morning or late at night, when the temperature is cooler, if possible.

The essential

Exercising in the heat can add a challenge to your workout regimen.

That said, if you want to exercise in the heat, there are some important safety concerns that you need to consider. The higher the temperature and humidity, the more likely you are to suffer from heat-related illnesses and dehydration.

To ensure your safety, be sure to drink plenty of fluids, wear light, breathable clothing, and always check the heat index before exercising outdoors. If you're not used to exercising in the heat, start slowly at lower than normal intensities.

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