Working Out in a Heat Wave

A lot of people see summer as a great time to work out outdoors, and while warm summer weather offers a lot of great fitness activities, working out when it is too hot can be extremely dangerous.

During a heat wave, your performance and your drive decrease due to the toll extreme heat takes on your body.

The best way to work out during a heat wave is inside an air-conditioned space, where you can continue to work at your peak level without the threat of heat illness looming over your workout.  If you have to work out outside, it is best to do it in the early morning or late evening.

Early signs of heat illness include cramps, dizziness and headaches, nausea and thirst.  Make sure to listen to your body, and if you start to feel any of these symptoms you should stop exercising, get out of the sun and cool off.  If you keep going, you could set yourself up for heat stroke.  During heat stroke, the body’s temperature will rise above 103 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the CDC.  The skin becomes red, hot and dry, and the body loses its ability to cool itself off.  Emergency help is essential because the body's temperature can quickly escalate to 106 degrees and damage organs or lead to death.

In order for you to stay safe when exercising in a heat wave, workout indoors or when temperatures during the day are cooler.  Try creating your own breeze through biking or rollerblading, or try swimming in a pool.