Mon | Sep 23, 2019

Fit 4 Life | Don’t get burned by the summer heat [Part II]

Published:Tuesday | August 20, 2019 | 12:25 PMMarvin Gordon/Contributor
Dark-coloured clothing tends to absorb more heat and overly-tight or heavy clothes will reduce the ability of the sweating mechanism to cool the body down.

As the summer heat rises, the risk of heat-related illness grows with it and training in hot weather can be dangerous.

Here are a few tips to help keep your training safe through the summer.

DRINK UP

Proper hydration is the key to avoiding heat-related illness. In training, our bodies use sweating to manage heat. However, through sweating, we lose water and nutrients that need to be replaced, hence the need to drink up. Hydration should not begin during a training session, though, as by then it might be too late. Ensure that you are drinking enough water daily. This will allow you to start each train session well hydrated.

Avoid alcohol, as it promotes fluid loss.

Another consideration for hydration is replacing nutrients such as sodium, which are lost through sweating. Sports drinks could help replace these nutrients, especially during long, intense workouts.

KEEP TRACK OF THE WEATHER

When planning training sessions, keep the weather forecast in mind. Pay close attention to the expected temperatures, especially if you are thinking about outdoor activities such as running.

Avoid training in excessive heat.

Schedule training sessions in cooler times such as early mornings or late evenings. Whatever time you choose, avoid training in the direct heat of the sun. However, if you can't stay out of direct sunlight completely, be sure to wear sunscreen.

CLOTHES MATTER, TOO

Loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing is more than a summer trend. Wearing such clothing will help to keep you cool. Dark-coloured clothing tends to absorb more heat and overly-tight or heavy clothes will reduce the ability of the sweating mechanism to cool the body down.

TAKE IT SLOW

If you are a beginner, start very slowly. It might seem 'doable' when you watch pros or persons with what seems like just slightly a slightly higher fitness level than yours, or the exercise might look easy. However, if you are new then your body will not be as efficient at managing the heat. Start slowly and allow your body to build its tolerance over time.

The same goes for persons starting new activities – especially outdoor exercises. Though it might be tempting to go into '#beastmode', take it easy and allow your body to adapt to the heat. It might take a few weeks, but it will keep you safe.

STAY IN THE KNOW

Knowledge is safety when it comes to training in hot weather. From the weather forecast and to your fitness level and medical condition, be sure to do your research before training in the summer heat.

For, example certain medical conditions might make training in hot weather dangerous, so leave nothing to chance, consult your doctor, and don't be afraid to change or cancel a workout session if it gets too hot.

- Marvin Gordon is a fitness coach; email: marvin.gordon@physiqueandfunction.com; yourhealth@gleanerjm.com