When the mercury rises, keep your fitness routine safe and fun for hot-weather sports by understanding how heat affects your body and its need to adapt.
Your body reacts to heat stress by pushing blood away from your core to peripheral vessels closer to the skin. Sweat is the agent that cools your blood as it reaches the skin’s surface before returning to your core.
Even if you’re at rest, cardiac output will nearly double and cause stress on the heart. If you exercise while your body is stressed by heat, cardiac output is compounded. This can have detrimental effects if your body isn’t ready.
Heat acclimatization is the process of adapting to heat stress and seven to 14 days of slowly increasing exposure to heat stress are recommended.
More sweating is OK
As your body adapts, the amount of time to begin sweating will decrease. Sweating will begin at a lower body core temperature and occur at an increased rate.
During and after acclimatization, stay hydrated to prevent heat illness.
Begin drinking water two hours before you exercise or do any hot weather-activity and continue drinking throughout the time you’re exposed to the heat. Consuming 200-300 milliliters of fluid for every 15 minutes of exercise is recommended. As you become more acclimated, you will require even more water because your body will more readily lose fluids to keep your core temperature down.
Specific training recommendations
Heat acclimatization guidelines from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association offer more specifics for training during hot weather.
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