With forecasts suggesting unprecedented heat waves this summer and The Met Office launching a new heatwave alert system just a few days ago, many of us are becoming more aware of the health risks from the sweltering temperatures.
For those who love workouts, the dangers of exercising in the sun are often underestimated and could be fatal.
To help people exercise safely this summer, fitness experts at Live Football Tickets discuss how to protect yourself and your furry friends from extreme heat and share eight tips that could reduce your health risks without sacrificing your fitness goals.
Check heat adjusted pace calculator
It is estimated that your running pace will slow by six to ten seconds per km for every five degrees increase in temperature roughly.
In response, Stefan Balkenende, at Live Football Tickets, comments: “Your heart will need to work harder when working out in the heat. This means you would need to expect a slower running pace than before. To maintain a safe running pace and avoid overdoing it in the heat wave, check a heat-adjusted pace calculator by putting in the temperature, humidity and your planned running distance/time. Though the heat effects may differ based on individuals, running slower ensures your body functions healthily under the sun.”
Pack water-resistant sun creams and cooling mists
Many people tend to neglect the importance of applying external methods to stay cool and healthy during workouts; however, they could be very effective at protecting your body.
Here is what Stefan suggests: “We recommend bringing a cooling face spray to cool the body. Products such as ice towels or cooling pads can also help your body keep from overheating, which could lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
“Exposure to the sun during workouts may harm your skin, including developing skin cancer. Therefore, taking care of your skin health is vital by applying a sun cream with an SPF, sun protection factor,over 30. If you are going out for a swim in the heat, water-resistant sun creams may be a better choice for you.”
Switch cardio for yoga
While it could be tempting to have an outdoor workout, knowing your body and picking the most suitable exercise type is important.
“If you don’t want to miss exercising outdoors, switch running and hiking to swimming or yoga. Reduce the density and duration of your normal exercises too. Short sessions usually work better in hot summer, putting less stress on your body than long, cardio workouts.”
Pick the time smartly
Although it can be hard to resist warm weather or change your workout routine, Stefan recommends carefully choosing your exercise time: “Generally, we do not recommend exercising outside when the temperature reaches 35 degrees. The recently launched colour-coded heatwave system makes it easier to check heat alerts and health warnings before going out.
“If you still need to exercise in the sun when it’s hot, either do it earlier in the morning before sunrise or try it later in the afternoon or after sunset. Avoid doing intense exercises between 10 am to 4 pm outside as it’s usually when the sun is at its hottest.”
Put on the right clothes
Looking to treat yourself to new workout clothes this summer but don’t know whether you need a tight or loose fitting? In choosing the best clothes for exercising in the heat, Stefan adds: “You should always make sure to wear the most comfortable clothes, no matter if they are tank tops or tight gym clothes. Avoid clothes that might restrict your movement or trap your body. When there is a heat wave, you may find light-coloured and loose-fitting clothes more comfortable as they allow air to flow and your sweat evaporates.”
Hydration is vital to our body no matter what time of the year, but it’s even more important during summer weather.
In response to this, Stefan Balkenende at Live Football Tickets provides tips on drinking and eating when exercising in the sun: “While many of us know the importance of drinking water after an exercise to restore any fluid levels you’ve lost, you should start drinking one or two hours before your workout too. This reduces your risk of dehydrating faster and prepares your heart and body for physical activity. Sports drinks with electrolytes would work more efficiently to help your body rehydrate.
“Eating water-rich food also helps with your body’s hydration level, such as watermelon, cucumber, lettuce, strawberries, tomato or an ice lolly.”
Pause when needed
According to Stefan, if you have accidentally overdone it, here is what you should do: “If you notice heat exhaustion symptoms such as dizziness, nausea and weakness, or other heat-related illnesses, pause immediately. You should hide in the shade or preferably go to an indoor place with air cons fast. Drink a sports drink and wash your face with cold water. It is unsafe to push against your limits, especially during a heat wave.”
If you or anyone else is struggling to breathe, experiencing unconsciousness or still unwell after 30 minutes of resting in a cool place, being cooled and drinking fluids, please see medical help.
Exercise safely with your furry friends
With lots of people enjoying running with their dogs, here is what Stefan suggests: “Exercising in the heat may help distress your dogs, but don’t risk overdoing it. You could take your dogs to a park with trees or other outdoor areas without direct sunlight. Help them stay hydrated by carrying a portable water container and wetting their paws to keep them cool. During summertime exercise, dogs could get heat exhaustion too, so it’s important to watch for any signs they show and make sure they stay cool in summer.”