Exercise tips for hot weather

Copy of bake bread(5)The good news is, you don’t have to worry about slipping on the ice!  The not so great news, it’s HOT!

Its been a while since we reviewed how to exercise when it is hot and humid.  This seems like a good week to do that! 🙂

Some people are effected by the heat more than others. Certain medications or medical issues can make it extra challenging to just get through the day, let alone exercise when it is hot outside.  So, you know what I am going to say…  “Listen to your body”.

It takes about 7-14 days for the body to adapt to the heat. Fortunately, here in New England our heat waves don’t last that long.  However, that means we need to be extra careful when the temps and humidity spike like this.

Always have an indoor plan!  Exercising in air conditioning or with a fan on you is a great alternative on hot days.  If you are active in the outdoors here are some tips for exercising in the hot weather:

  • Check the heat index: The heat index combines the temperature and humidity – both are a factor in heat stress on the body with exercise.
    • Less than 80 heat index – ok to exercise.  However, since every body is different, you may need a lower heat index for exercise to be comfortable, especially if you are new to exercise or your body weight is elevated.  Bottom line, listen to your body.
    • Greater than 90 heat index – exercise in air conditioning or during a cooler part of the day
  • Slow down – lower the exercise intensity on hotter, more humid days
  • Take breaks – every 10-15 minutes to allow the body to cool a bit and to hydrate
  • Exercise in cooler parts of the day – before 10am or after 4pm
  • Exercise in the shade
  • Dress smart – light color, loose-fitting clothing to allow skin to cool
    • DO NOT dress to sweat!  Sweating does not increase fat loss.  Yes you will lose weight on the scale but this weight is not fat, it is water your body needs.
    • Do not use the plastic suits that are advertising to promote weight loss. Again, it is water loss – NOT what you want to lose and increases risks.
  • Hydrate – before during and after activity with water
    • weigh yourself before and after exercise – if you lose more than 2% of your body weight you are considered dehydrated
    • rehydrate slowly and gradually
    • if you have had weight loss surgery,  drink small sips all day long including during exercise
    • if your urine is darker yellow and has a stronger odor, this is a sign you need to re-hydrate

Know the signs of heat illness:

  • Heat Cramps – Muscle cramps.  Discontinue exercise and rehydrate. Watch for signs of heat exhaustion.
  • Heat Exhaustion: (discontinue exercise an seek medical attention)
    • heavy sweating
    • exhaustion
    • fainting
    • vomiting
    • cold, pale, clammy skin
    • watch for signs of progressing to heat stroke
  • Heat Stroke: (discontinue exercise and seek medical attention immediately)
    • hot, dry red skin
    • rapid heart beat
    • confusion
    • loss of consciousness

Stay Cool, Keep Moving, Be Well,


Please share these posts with anyone you know interested in losing weight with or without weight loss surgery.  Click here to learn more about the UMass Memorial Weight Center

These weekly blogs are general guidelines. These guidelines apply to patients who are cleared by a physician for the type of exercise described. Please contact your physician with any concerns or questions. Always report any symptoms associated with exercise, such as pain, irregular heartbeats, and dizziness or fainting, to your physician.



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by | July 2, 2018 · 5:43 pm

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