Summers in the Washington, DC area are not for the faint of heart! If you've lived here long enough you know that July and August can be downright miserable when it comes down to high temperatures and even higher humidity.
Here are some tips on how to modify your training during the summer months:
- Acclimatize to the heat gradually. If you're not used to training in hot weather, start by gradually increasing the amount of time you spend exercising in the heat. This will give your body time to adjust and prevent heat-related illnesses.
- Wear light, breathable clothing. Clothes that wick away sweat will help you stay cool and comfortable. Avoid wearing cotton, as it will absorb sweat and make you feel hotter.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after your workouts. You may need to drink more fluids than usual in hot weather.
- Take breaks. If you start to feel overheated or dizzy, take a break. Drink some fluids, cool down, and then resume your workout.
- Listen to your body. If you're feeling really hot or uncomfortable, stop your workout and cool down. Don't push yourself too hard in hot weather.
- Manage your recovery. In hot weather, your body needs more time to recover from workouts. Be sure to get enough sleep and eat a healthy diet.
Whenever you are exerting yourself in these conditions, there is always a possibility of heat cramps, heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Both of these are dangerous, and in some cases can be life threatening. Be aware of the signs of heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately:
- Hot, dry skin
- Rapid heart rate
- Loss of consciousness
- By following these tips, you can stay safe and healthy while training in hot weather.