Is Working Out in the Summer Heat Dangerous?

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So you like to work out outdoors where it’s perfectly acceptable to take off your shirt and show off those rock-hard abs. While the ladies may appreciate the view, your body may not be too happy about it. Or will it?

Working out in lower temperatures is more likely to cause heart attacks

Contrary to popular belief, working out in the heat is not necessarily bad for you. In fact, most heart attacks during exercise occur during lower temperatures. This is according to data collected by the American Heart Association. Moreover, the cold weather complicates blood circulation processes because it slows down blood flow and constricts the vascular system. Warmer weather has the opposite effect.

Heat-related accidents during sports

We’ve all heart of those marathoners or football players who have keeled over during hard training. Why does this happen to them if working out in the heat is okay? For starters, those football players who do pass out or die during training are usually 1) out of shape 2) overweight and/or 3) in heavy gear. These all play a part. Also, marathoners are placed under rigorous training conditions almost every day, so it’s hard to compare the average fitness enthusiast to these other athletes who train for hours a day.

Still, it’s best to be cautious regardless of your situation. Here are some ways to stay safe while exercising in the heat:

  • Don’t go 0 to 100 in 2 seconds. No one is putting a deadline on you so slow it down and take your time. Warm up properly and make sure that you give your body time to acclimate to the temperature outside.
  • Drink, drink, drink. Cool water is the best drink. If that’s not available, drinks like Gatorage which contain carbohydrates and electrolytes, are a good alternative. Never drink soda or anything containing caffeine because it will have a diuretic effect.
  • If you feel weak or dizzy, it’s time to rest or call it a day. Don’t risk your health over one training session.
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