There are a million reasons to keep your workout inside during these sweltering months, including concern about heat exhaustion and overtraining in hot, sticky weather.
Your normal outdoor jog can actually get dangerous if you do it in high temperatures and/or without drinking enough water.
Normally, skin, blood vessels and perspiration easily adjust to exercising in warm weather conditions – but when the thermometer pushes past the 85-degree mark – or if you exercise in high altitudes or extreme humidity – then the natural cooling symptoms within your own body (such as sweating) may not work. And that elevates core temperature dangerously as well as increasing the strain on your cardiovascular system.
The American Red Cross warns that an active adult core temperature of 104 Fahrenheit or over is a dangerous symptom of heat stroke.
If you can quickly identify signs of heat exhaustion – certain signs that come before the more lethal heat stroke – then you may be able to prevent this serious summer condition, even if you are exercising outdoors.
According to research from the Mayo Clinic, heat exhaustion is a possibility if you exercise outside and suddenly feel lightheaded or faint.
Sudden Signs of Heat Exhaustion
Low blood pressure
Increased heart rate
Moist, clammy skin
Heavy sweating or flushing
If you develop any symptoms, says the Mayo Clinic, lower your body temperature and start getting rehydrated right away. Stop exercising immediately and get out of the heat. If possible, have someone stay with you who can help monitor your condition.
More Reasons to Exercise Indoors
Heat Cramps are Tip-Offs
Exercise-associated muscle cramps are painful muscle contractions that may occur with overheating during exercise. If they occur, lower-body muscles will feel firm to the touch and you may feel spasms in your legs, even if your body temperature and exercise intensity level appear to be normal , according to the Mayo Clinic.
First, if you or someone you know may be experiencing heat cramps in the legs or abdomen, get to a cooler place. Rest in the shade and lightly stretch. Replenish by drinking water or sports drinks, consuming about half a glass (about 4 ounces) every 15 minutes.
How Much Water do You Drink for Proper Hydration?
8 Ways to Help Prevent Heat Stroke
1) Stop any activity and get to a safe place (out of traffic, for instance)
2) Move to a cool area out of direct sunlight – and sit down
3) Drink cool water slowly (about four ounces) for a few moments
4) Tell a friend or exercise buddy what’s happening (if you can)
5) Remove or loosen tight clothing including shoes and socks
6) Spritz cool water (or cool towels) on your face, neck and head.
7) Slowly take small amounts of cool water every 10-15 minutes without resuming activity until you feel better
8) Watch for changes in condition, warns the American Red Cross, and call for urgent care if symptoms worsen.
Stay Cool on the Treadmill or Elliptical Machine
Elliptical machines are a wonderful choice for people who want to burn fat and strengthen their cardiovascular system without getting heat exhaustion! (Air conditioning – anyone?)
Elliptical machines provide a welcome “cross training” break from a running routine outside and they incorporate upper body muscles that aren’t utilized when running. Plus, they’re completely non-impact, so your joints get a break from the pounding of running.
Contact us today to learn the many benefits of elliptical training or any of the other available modes of indoor exercise. Better yet “test drive” several options in one of our stores to see which fits your lifestyle and your exercise goals.