Exercising is not a one-day affair. It is like a process, it has to happen every day. Exercising in high temperatures is way too tasking. Primarily it sweats a lot more than usual, while our body systems aren’t that prepared to take the heat. Furthermore, to help cool itself, your body sends more blood to circulate through your skin. This leaves less blood for your muscles, which in turn increases your heart rate.
On the contrary, it is nature’s prerogative to make one sweat and burn. Sweating naturally is the body’s way of controlling its temperature. Take it as a blessing.
Some athletes stay fit throughout the year, due to a disciplined routine. That makes them adapt to exercising in the heat and high humidity. Why is it a blessing in disguise? Running, walking or basic jogging in humid temperatures takes a lot of effort. Which means you tend to ‘burn’ more than you do in usual days.
The bane – sweating in high humidity can affect our body adversely if we aren’t prepared physically one gets dehydrated very easily. Our body loses essential electrolytes. Scientifically talking, our VO2 max or the ability to use oxygen to create energy withers easily. Dehydration furthers the reduction of VO2 max, hence creating an electrolyte imbalance. Our body gets more prone to heat strokes, where the core body temperature can shoot to fatal levels. Heatstroke is the most serious heat-related illness where the body temperature might rise upto 105°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes.
In case you suspect heatstroke look for these common symptoms:
- Dry, hot skin (no sweating)
- Rapid, weak pulse
It is advised to maintain discipline in exercise routine plan throughout the year. Our body can acclimatize itself to certain atmospheric temperature in no time. People who do exercise regularly, feel a significant rise in the endurance levels. This happens only when you respond well to exercising in humid weather and in that case while you work out, be careful of certain things.
Don’t rush to be super fit. Remember, it is not a one-day affair. It is a process.
Each drop-in ocean is essential.
- Go for easy-pace work-out
- Give your body the time it needs to adapt and acclimatize
- Monitor your vitals
- Pay close attention to how your body responds to humidity while exercising
- Look for signs of heat exhaustion/dehydration such as
- Heavy sweating
- Muscle cramps
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Wear comfortable clothing while exercising. Easy-Breathable cotton is a good option, as it allows sweat to dry quickly.
- Don’t work-out in the Sun mostly peak hours(12pm-4pm)
- Replace electrolytes and fluids by staying hydrated
- Opt for natural electrolytes like fresh coconut water, fresh-pressed watermelon juice, probiotic drinks, etc. Watch out for allergies to dairy
- Maintain a healthy diet, consult a Dietitian for the same
- Consume more of cucumbers, strawberries, scallions, mangoes, turnips, oranges, wheatgrass, bananas, sour foods, etc.
As tempting as the humid weather sounds to burn calories more than usual, working out in such conditions requires experienced supervision. Muscle training should be done under the guidance of an experienced Physiotherapist to prevent injuries and health-related disorders.
Happy Monsoon Happy exercising!
Consultant Physiotherapist. Physio Active