Exercise tips to beat summer humidity: Don't over-hydrate, avoid cotton clothes

to work harder. Working out in humid conditions is more difficult because sweat doesn't evaporate as quickly due to the high water content in the air. This causes the cardiovascular system to work harder.

Exercise tips to beat summer humidity: Don't over-hydrate, avoid cotton clothes


Hydrate before exercising to avoid being dehydrated during your workout.

Experts say that anyone who has ever gone for a run on a muggy, hot day will know how miserable it can get. Not only is your shirt stuck to your back but you also feel uncomfortable because

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Exercise becomes more difficult. JohnEric Smith is an associate professor at Mississippi State University who specializes in exercise physiology. He said that the sweat on skin does not evaporate easily. He said that sweat itself does not cool you down, but the evaporation. He said that when the air is thick with water vapour, there's no place for moisture to escape from our skin.

As a consequence,

The air can make it difficult for you to cool off. This can stress the cardiovascular system, reduce blood flow to muscles and tire us faster than in drier climates. There isn't a lot of independent research about how humidity affects our bodies, but small studies have consistently shown that athletes tire faster when relative humidity reaches 60%. This doesn't mean that you should move your entire workout indoors if you live somewhere where it feels like a hot sauna between June and September. Here are 4 ways to keep cool during the hot summer months.

Allow your body to adjust for a few weeks.

Smith says that the more you exercise, even in humid heat, the better your body adapts and becomes able to cool itself. The same applies to cold weather, but in reverse. Exercise in humid, hot weather can be more exhausting than in dry conditions. It's important to allow yourself enough time to adjust to avoid overheating. Smith explained that your body will start to sweat sooner and more frequently in a matter of days. This will help regulate its temperature. Even your blood volume will increase, benefiting your heart and circulation. He said that you'll see big changes in the first couple of days, but it takes about two weeks for your body to adjust. Smith recommends doing gentler, shorter workouts when the weather is humid. The intensity and duration of these workouts should gradually increase over a period of two to three weeks until you are back to your normal exercise routine. If you normally run six miles in a 10 minute pace, reduce it to three miles and increase the speed as soon as humidity begins to feel less oppressive.

Keep your skin cool.

Ahmad Munir Che Muhamed is an associate professor of Exercise Physiology at Science University of Malaysia. He studies the effects of heat and humidity on athletic performance. As much of your skin as possible should be exposed to air while you exercise. This will help sweat evaporate. Wear sunscreen to protect yourself from sun damage. He said that cotton clothing can hold moisture and create a layer around the body. Wear clothes that are moisture-wicking or fast-drying. Smith explained that while it may feel more comfortable to dry your skin or wipe sweat off with your wet t-shirt, it actually stops the evaporation of moisture. It may be best to let the sweat run off, so long as it doesn't get in your eyes.

Amy Beacom is a Mayo Clinic primary care sports medicine doctor. She recommends misting yourself with cold water and drying off with a fan if you are exercising in a single spot, such as playing tennis or doing outdoor bootcamp. Do this after you finish running.

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for quick relief.


But don't go overboard.

Humid air may cause dehydration. The more sweat you produce, the less sweat you evaporate, and the hotter it gets. This causes you to sweat more, which in turn depletes electrolytes and fluids such as sodium and potassium, according to Ronald Maughan. Be sure to drink water before exercising so that you don't start out dehydrated. Drinking two to three cups water before working out is recommended by the American Council on Exercise. The Mayo Clinic suggests drinking fluids as you exercise, but only until thirst is reached. This will prevent overhydration, which can damage your kidneys and dilute your sodium levels.

Consider where and when to exercise.

In most places, the humidity is at its highest in the early morning before the sun evaporates the moisture from the air. Plan your workouts according to the humidity levels in your area. Check the level of humidity at different times during the day. Smith recommends The Weather Channel app. Maughan advised that you should exercise in a shaded area or on a path when possible. Exercise in direct sunlight can be like adding fuel to a fire when your body already works hard to avoid overheating in high humidity. He said that heat, humidity and sun intensity, as well as wind, all affect how you feel outside. "All of these factors interact."