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03 Jun 2016

Keeping Cool while Exercising in Hot Weather


Keeping Cool while Exercising in Hot Weather

Exercising in hot temperatures can make your workouts unpleasant, limit your performance, leave you dehydrated and even cause your body to become overheated. It gets worse in our tropical clime as the humid conditions prevent sweat from evaporating off our skin. 

Look out for symptoms of overheating - headache, dizziness, muscle cramps and nausea - all of which could indicate heat-related illness. Feeling ill while working out? Stop immediately and cool down by taking shade and wetting your skin with water. 

Don't let the heat wreck your workout plans. Beat the heat with these 5 tips! 

Weather forecast
There is a higher chance of overheating when exercising outdoors so plan ahead. Just like how you'd plan your workout attire, check the weather forecast a day before heading out. If the forecast predicts a hot and humid day, exercise in the morning before the day gets too hot and seek out shaded areas for cooling respite. Otherwise, hit the gym instead. 

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Drink before, during and after exercising to maintain blood volume needed to cool down your body. Listen to your body. Don't wait until you feel thirsty as that signals dehydration, but also avoid drinking if you're not thirsty. Going the distance? Bring along a water bottle with you. 

Breathable gear
Choose lightweight, loose and light-coloured clothes as they wick away sweat and allows your body to cool off better. Search for the clothes made from synthetic fabrics such as polyester, microfibre and ultra-thin wool. Avoid cotton as it holds moisture and dries slowly, which traps your body's heat and could lead to overheating. 

Cool as you like
Prevent overheating by applying cool compresses to your body as you work out. This is useful for those who don't sweat as much due to certain illnesses. Use an ice towel or spray bottle to bring your body temperature down fast, the sprayed water acting as sweat, helps to keep your body cool. 

Do something different
While running, cycling or playing tennis are all worthy ways of working out, try swimming or surfing instead. You'll get to enjoy the outdoors in conditions that are manageable. Alternatively, sign up for classes usually held indoors such as yoga or Zumba for workouts that are just as enjoyable.