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Safely Workout During Hot Weather

Sunday, September 24th 2023 10:00am 6 min read
Dr. Jessica Peatross dr.jess.md @drjessmd

Hospitalist & top functional MD who gets to the root cause. Stealth infection & environmental toxicity keynote speaker.

It’s important to maintain exercise regimes even during the hotter months. Here are 10 tips or hacks to help you continue with your walking workouts when the temperatures rise:

Hydrate

Staying adequately hydrated is crucial during any physical activity, especially during hotter months when you tend to sweat more. Water is the best choice for most people and you should aim to drink at least 8 ounces for every 20 minutes of exercise (Harvard Health, 2015)1. Additionally, the American Council on Exercise suggests drinking 17 to 20 ounces of water two hours before starting exercise, and at least 8 ounces during your warm-up and every 20 minutes during your walk. Dehydration can impair your body’s ability to regulate heat and increase the risk of heat-related illnesses, such as heat stroke.

Also, consider replenishing electrolytes if you plan to walk for over an hour. You could choose sports drinks or other options like coconut water, but be mindful of their sugar content. Remember, it’s not just the exercise that can lead to dehydration, but the overall heat of the day can also increase fluid loss and contribute to dehydration.

Avoid peak hours

One of the simplest ways to avoid the heat is to plan your walk during the cooler times of the day. Avoid the peak sun hours between 10 am and 4 pm when the sun’s radiation is at its maximum (American Cancer Society, 2019). Early morning walks can be especially refreshing, as temperatures are usually lower and the air is often cleaner.

Moreover, evening walks post-dinner can help in digestion and provide a cooler environment to carry out your exercise routine. Remember, high temperatures can increase the risk of heat-related illnesses and also make your workout feel harder. So, rearranging your schedule to accommodate cooler times of the day can not only help you to stay comfortable, but also make your workouts more effective.

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