The South African summer is well underway, and that means everyone is looking for inventive ways to cool down and beat the heat. And if you’re one of the many fitness freaks that enjoys exercising outdoors you’ll undoubtedly be using some pretty creative tricks to stay chilled in the scorching S.A heat without having to compromise on your workout routine.
Here are 5 tips for exercising in the S.A summer heat
While this one seems obvious, most cases of heat related illnesses such as heat stroke or heat exhaustion are caused by not keeping hydrated. A good approach to staying sufficiently hydrated is to keep drinking fluids as long as you stay sweating. The body keeps itself cool by sweating but at the same time this causes the body to lose fluids; so make sure to sip on water as long as you feel yourself sweating.
Exercise at the right time
Unless you are training for an event that takes place during midday, you should always try and exercise when the sun is at its lowest. The general rule is to avoid exercising outdoors anytime between 10am – 5pm, but the mornings are usually the best especially if the day is going to be a scorcher.
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Recognise the warning signs
The heat can strike strong and fast, so it’s important to recognise all the signs of heat-related illnesses before you might require medical attention. If you find yourself feeling dizzy, a headache, light-headed, experiencing low blood pressure, nauseous or weak be certain to stop exercising immediately and get out of the sun.
Once the temperature starts to heat up you should take a few days and allow your body to become more used to the hotter climate. Spend a few days outdoors without exercising in order for your body to adjust, after which you can start implementing a more strenuous exercise routine.
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Wear appropriate clothing
It’s very important to wear light, breathable clothing while exercising in the heat, but it can be just as important to cover up certain areas of your body. Avoid headaches but wearing a mesh cap or any other type of breathable hat, and if your exercise requires you to wear protective gear be sure to remove it periodically and allow yourself to cool off.