New York City Certified Personal Trainer Tip of the Month



July has seen record temperatures across the States and it doesn’t look like it will let up in August. Though the latest trends in exercise are “hot,” being hot yoga, hot pilates (I even saw an inferno pilates class advertised), exercising in the heat can be dangerous and even life-threatening.

Heat puts stress on the body as both exercise and the outside environment heat your body’s core. Your body reacts, trying to cool down, by sending more blood to circulate through your skin, which, in turn, leaves less blood for your muscles and puts a strain on your heart. Add humidity to the mix, and sweat doesn’t evaporate quickly from your skin and your body temperature raises even higher. This is a perfect cocktail for anything from heat cramps to heat stroke, the latter being fatal if unattended.

When exercising in the heat, whether it be going for a run, a long bike ride, or playing a pickup game of basketball in the park, pay attention to your body. Here are 7 tips to keep hydrated, keep cool, and keep safe while exercising during these last weeks of summer heat!

  • Being aware of your body can save your life: Pay attention to your body. Light-headedness, dizziness, nausea, clammy skin, headache and fatigue are all signs your body might be overheated and entering a dangerous state.
  • waterHydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate! Try waterlogged to keep track of fluid intake. Prep Your Body with 24 Ounces. Two hours before exercising drink 24 ounces of liquid, preferably water. Your body needs to be hydrated before exercising as well as during and after. Many people forget about the before! Get another 8. Right before exercising add another 8 ounces to your liquid intake. Every 20 Minutes. The rule of thumb is drinking 8 ounces every twenty minutes during exercise.
  • Acclimate to the temperature: Don’t plunge into the heat without giving your body time acclimate to the weather or temperature. If it’s cold outside, and you’re going to a hot yoga class, take it easy while you get accustomed to the heat. If there’s a heat wave, bump your exercise regime back a notch until your body is used to the heat.
  • Knowing Your Fitness Level Can Keep You Healthy: If you’ve decided this is the month you’re going to get fit, take it easy. Your body will be adjusting to not only a new exercise regime but also the heat and might be more susceptible. Start slow. Built up slow. Take frequent breaks.
  • HyrdrationYou Are What You Wear: Specialty, sweat-wicking fabrics make a difference! Loose-fitting athletic clothes can help your body keep cool. Invest in a couple of good shirts and shorts. Your health is worth it.
  • The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly Noontime Sun: Unless punishing, dangerous heat is your goal, exercising under the midday sun should probably be skipped during summer months. Understandably, that’s when some people take their lunchtime office walk. If so, wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunscreen, and make sure you hydrate. Or, consider taking your noontime walk in an air conditioned mall or museum!
  • Change it Up! There are many ways to get exercise, and many times. Change your routine when possible. Leave earlier, start later, find an indoor gym, jump rope in your cool apartment. Now is the time to get creative to stay safe!

Know your body, your limits, and understand the dangers of exercising in the summer to make sure you stay safe and healthy!