Updated May 31st, 2024 at 14:24 IST

Heatwave: Things To Keep In Mind Before Hitting The Gym

Exercising during a summer heatwave can be challenging, but with the right precautions, you can maintain your fitness routine safely and effectively.

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Summer heatwaves can make outdoor activities challenging, but they don't have to derail your fitness routine. Hitting the gym during a heatwave requires some adjustments to ensure you stay safe and comfortable while maximising your workout. Here are some essential tips to keep in mind.

Stay hydrated

Hydration is crucial, especially during a heatwave. Sweating more due to higher temperatures can lead to dehydration, which can impair your performance and health. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, not just during your workout. Aim for at least 8-10 glasses of water daily, and consider sports drinks if you’re engaging in intense exercise for over an hour to replenish electrolytes.

Representative photo | Image: Shutterstock

 

Dress appropriately

Wearing the right workout attire can make a significant difference. Choose lightweight, breathable fabrics like cotton or moisture-wicking materials that help keep you cool and dry. Avoid dark colours as they absorb more heat. Opt for loose-fitting clothes that allow air to circulate and cool your body.

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Time your workouts wisely

If possible, schedule your workouts during the cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late evening. This can help reduce the risk of overheating and make your exercise session more comfortable. If you can only go to the gym during peak heat hours, ensure that the gym is well-ventilated and air-conditioned.

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Representative photo | Image: Shutterstock

 

Listen to your body

Pay close attention to how your body feels during exercise. Heat can cause your heart rate to rise faster than usual, so monitor your intensity and be willing to adjust as necessary. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include dizziness, nausea, headache, excessive sweating, and muscle cramps. If you experience any of these, stop exercising immediately, move to a cooler place, and hydrate.

Modify your routine

Consider modifying your workout routine to account for the heat. Lower the intensity of your workouts and increase rest periods between sets. Focus on low-impact exercises like yoga, Pilates, or swimming, which can provide a great workout without putting too much strain on your body. If you usually run on the treadmill, try walking at an incline to maintain intensity without the same level of exertion.

Use cooling techniques

Incorporate cooling techniques before, during, and after your workout. Pre-cooling methods like drinking cold water or applying ice packs to your neck and wrists can help lower your body temperature. During your workout, take advantage of fans or cooling towels. Post-workout, a cold shower can help bring your core temperature down and aid in recovery.

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Published May 31st, 2024 at 14:24 IST