Exercising in the Heat: Myths
By Sara Butler
Exercising in the heat isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s important to know what you’re doing and how far you can push before you put yourself in danger or overheating. Heat illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke, are very serious. The problem is that, just as with many other things, over the years a lot of misinformation has been put out there about exercising in the heat. To stay healthy, it’s important to be able to separate myth from fact. Here are some of the most common myths about exercising in the heat and what you should do instead.
Myth No. 1: All Heat is Created Equal
Dry heat and humid heat are two very different things. If humidity is high enough, your body may not be able to safely evaporate moisture, even if it’s not that hot outside. That means it becomes easier for you to overheat.
You should check the heat index before heading out in order to get a more accurate picture of how it will feel outside. Any time there’s a heat advisory, it’s best to stay inside.
Myth No. 2: You Can’t Drink Too Much Water
Hydrating is a great idea, especially when you’re exercising in the heat. But don’t think that it’s impossible to drink too much water, because it certainly is. When you’re working out in the heat, drink to quench your thirst. That way you won’t drink too much water, which can cause your performance to suffer just as much as not drinking enough. Let your body guide you and you’ll know what to do!
Myth No. 3: You Can’t Overheat in Water
While swimming laps in the pool may the preferred form of exercise on a hot day, don’t let your guard down. You can still overheat in a pool, especially if it’s a heated, outdoor pool. Make sure you’re smart about being outside in the water and use sunscreen or exercise in an indoor pool instead. Also, just because you’re in water doesn’t mean you don’t need to drink it, so keep your water bottle handy to drink when you’re thirsty.
When you exercise outside in the heat, it’s important to listen to your body. If you feel dizzy, unusually tired, or nauseated, then stop what you’re doing and cool off as soon as you can. Hydrate and if you’re concerned, get medical help.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Richardson, Tex.