Just as exercising in weather colder than you are used to can potentially cause some health issues, weather warmer than usual can cause some health issues too … some of which can be life-threatening, namely heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke – the last one being the most dangerous.
To prevent being a heat casualty, there are some things to watch out for when exercising in hot weather. You will need to pay attention to these tips when you travel to the Philippines; especially if you are coming from a colder climate like the USA or Europe.
Time of Day
It is the coolest early in the day, so plan your outdoor exercising in the early morning. In many locations, as the temperature and humidity rises during the day, it becomes harder for your body to rid itself of heat through the evaporation of sweat. Because the air is already humid, the sweat on the skin can’t evaporate as fast and cool you down as much, thus increasing your chances for overheating and a heat injury.
Getting dehydrated in hot weather is a recipe for disaster, but can easily happen. Water normally is the drink of choice, but in really hot weather you can lose a lot of electrolytes too along with water, so a drink containing electrolytes may work better to keep hydrated and the body in balance. Gatorade® or any number of sports drinks work well in hot weather.
Dress for Success
Dress in light-colored, lightweight, loose-fitting clothes made out of a moisture-wicking or dri-weave material to get as much moisture (and heat) off of your skin as you can.
While you may be a fitness guru (or at least think you are), if you are not used to exercising in hot weather, you may want to reduce the intensity along with the duration of your workout. It normally takes at least 14 days for your body to adjust to a new climate. Go at a light to moderate rate during this adjustment period and listen to your body.
While advisable to wear long sleeve shirts and shorts, be sure to apply sunscreen to exposed skin if you are going to be out when the sun is starting to heat up the day. Sunburned skin is not only very uncomfortable, but it doesn’t get rid of body heat through evaporation as well as non-burned skin. Also don’t forget to apply sunscreen on the tips of your ears, nose and be sure and wear a hat that shades your face and sunglasses.
Have a Backup Plan
For days when it is just too hot to exercise, take your workout indoors where it is air conditioned. If traveling. opt to use the hotel or resort’s fitness center or get a day membership at a local gym.
Use these tips to reduce your chances of suffering a heat injury. Not only can they be dangerous, but when once suffered, you are more susceptible to another one again. Exercising in hot weather is not something to be taken lightly. Be safe; exercise smart!