Personal Training, Fitness and Nutrition Motivation

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Why I Don't Exercise in Heat Above My Body Temperature

I prefer fair-weathered workouts for many reasons - not a fan of the cold and definitely dislike super hot days.

My dislike for exercise in heat above my body temperature goes deeper than feelings - for me anyway. Exercise stresses your body and it already works hard to maintain homeostasis (balance) during the exercise process.

Possible Health Risks

Adding environmental factors like extreme heat can cause unhealthy risk factors like:

  • extra stress on the body
  • increased body core temperature
  • heat-related illness (heat cramps, heat exhaustion, collapse, heatstroke)
  • dehydration

Listen to Your Body

Although early morning or dusk is the best time to exercise when the weather is heating up, some enjoy extreme heat for workouts.

Not my cup of tea but during any exercise program, it's important to listen to your body.

Exercise and Body Heat

Exercise increases body heat through a process called thermogenesis. During a workout, your muscle cells burn calories to provide energy to sustain physical activity. Some of the energy is used to contract your muscles but most of it is lost as heat and leaves the body.

This thermogenic process helps keep your body in balance. The body heats up, you sweat, and your core temperature remains at a stable level.

The body is pretty awesome and knows what to do to keep you cool during heated workouts.

Maintain Core Temperature

My hard workouts will remain in a gym/studio setting where I have the best control of my core temperature. For those who are braving hot weather workouts, it will be even more important to monitor sweat loss and how you're feeling.

Fluid intake is vital during workouts and especially during increased environmental temperature exercise. Sometimes electrolytes that come from diluted sports drinks are necessary to help maintain body balance.

Some of the best ways to maintain core temperature during exercise include:

  • Appropriate clothing that allows moisture wicking and cooling
  • Staying hydrated
  • Recognize the signs of heat illness
  • Consuming diluted sports drinks 
  • Exercise early morning or at dusk

Closing Thoughts

The most important thing to remember is doing what's best for your body and health. Hot weather or not, listen to your body, drink lots of fluids, and enjoy the process of being active.

Also, having a discussion with your doctor about exercise in the heat may be helpful to see if it's right for you.

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