Aug 4, 2020
How To Train Properly in the Heat

As we enter the dog days of summer, it’s important to be mindful of the high heat and humidity.

Generally speaking, those who enjoy outdoor workouts prefer conditions that involve cooler temperatures and low humidity. That, however, doesn’t mean those looking to get a healthy sweat in have to turn back indoors or head to the gym.

heat
Photo: Pawel Loj / Creative Commons

That’s where heat training comes into play. A recent article on Health.com defined heat training as using heat to boost your exercise performance and overall health. But utilizing heat training in your workout regimens can be helpful, it must be done with caution.

First, one has to understand the benefits of heat training. According to the article, heat acclimation sparks a domino effect of physiological adaptations that can help with the final product in competition. For elite athletes, the article states, the biggest change is the increased production of hemoglobin — the major protein in red blood cells that bring oxygen to the body’s major organs and tissues. Increased production of hemoglobin has a huge impact on an athlete’s overall endurance.

“By increasing your hemoglobin concentration, you’re enhancing the oxygen-carrying capacity of your blood, and you’re improving upon that potential weak link for the endurance athlete,” Robert Mazzeo, Ph.D., associate professor of Integrative Physiology at the University of Colorado Boulder, told Health.com.

To work out in the heat safely it takes preparation. One shouldn’t simply begin working out in 100-degree heat on a whim. Experts say it takes about 10 to 15 days for the body to acclimate to the heat. Stay true to your workout program, don’t push, and time out your sessions wisely.

» ALSO SEE: Benefits of High School and Youth Sports for Student-Athletes

Additional risk factors to consider include heat stroke, sunburns, and dehydration.

“Heat, plus humidity, plus direct sunlight is a triple-threat combination, so keep that in mind, and try to schedule your workouts accordingly,” Chris Ryan, CSCS, NSCA-certified personal trainer on NBC’s Strong, told Health.com. “Do the harder portions earlier in the day, and lighter portions in the hotter parts of the day.”

To read the full article from Health.com on the benefits and proper precautions to take in attempting heat training, click here




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