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Exercising in the heat

Can you safely exercise in higher temperatures? Yes! But is important how your body responds when working out in the heat.

Working out in hotter temperatures puts your body under extra stress. Exercise, humidity and air temperature are all factors that will cause your bodies core temperature to increase when you are exercising. To cool itself, your body will circulate more blood, sending less to the muscles and causing your heart rate will increase. Sweating is part of your cooling mechanisms and sweat may evaporate from your skin less quickly in humid conditions.

Thankfully our fab venue has amazing air conditioning to keep us all safe and cool in classes, but there a few things you can do to help yourself whilst safely exercising in the heat either in classes or elsewhere when the temperatures are higher:

  • HYDRATE - Ensure you are fully hydrated before coming to class, and drink plenty water during and after class. Sweating is your bodies' cooling mechanism so ensure your body has the fluids it needs to do so. Avoid caffeine, sugared drinks or alcohol that may dehydrate you.

  • COOL YOUR SKIN – Take a cool shower before coming to class.

  • CLOTHING - Wear lighter coloured fitness clothing made from breathable, moisture wicking, quick drying fabrics. The quicker sweat is taken away from the skins surface and dries, the more comfortable you will be.

  • EQUIP - Bring a cooling towel, or put a damp flannel in a bag in your freezer for a while before class. Cooling water sprays and mists are also great for a quick blast to cool the skin. Spray onto the back of your neck and face, or wherever needed. I’ve had these available to use in classes this week 😊

  • ADAPT - Adapt your workout to follow the lower intensity options given throughout classes. Lower the intensity of your dance fitness workouts by keeping your arms a little lower.

  • ROOM TEMPERATURE - Use air conditioning to lower the temperature of the room if available. If not, open windows and use fans to improve air flow and ventilation if the air outside is cooler than the air inside the room.

  • TIMING – Check out the predicted hourly temperature forecasts, and workout at the coolest part of the day, especially if outdoors.

  • SUNSCREEN - if exercising outdoors, wear a hat, sunglasses and a high factor spf.

  • DURATION - Reduce the length of your workout if needed. Take longer breaks between routines in dance and dance fitness classes, as we’ve been in classes.

Do be aware of the signs of heat exhaustion:

  • a headache.

  • dizziness and confusion.

  • loss of appetite and feeling sick.

  • excessive sweating and pale, clammy skin.

  • cramps in the arms, legs and stomach.

  • fast breathing or pulse.

  • a high temperature of 38C or above.

  • being very thirsty.

If you are feeling at unwell due to the heat, follow the nhs advice here:

A sports water bottle against a blue sky
Sports Water Bottle

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