What you should know before exercising in the heat

Summer has finally hit Toronto and the last thing most of want to do is go into an air conditioned gym. When planning to exercise outdoors in the summer you need to think about the external heat index which includes outside temperature and the humidity as well as your internal body temperature. Before setting out for your walk or run, the most important factor to consider is the humidity levels as high humidity can limit your body’s ability to cool itself down with sweat evaporation. Internal body temperature increases with exercise by 15-20% and is affected by exercise intensity, duration, body size, fitness level, hydration and the type and colour of your clothing. Heat illness occurs when your body produces more heat than it can dissipate and can result in cramps and fatigue.

The best way to stay active in the summer outdoors is:

1. HYDRATE: Drink 5-10 ounces of water every 15 minutes—you know you have done it when your urine is clear and you have a full bladder every 2-3 hours

2. ACCLIMATIZE: During the first 2 weeks of hot weather decrease the intensity of your outdoor workouts to let you body get used to the heat

3. CHOOSE YOUR EXERCISE TIME WISELY: The best time to exercise in the summer is early morning or evening to avoid the hottest part of the day

4. MONITOR HEAT INDEX: The city of Toronto monitors the heat index and issues heat alerts. From the city of Toronto website here is how they decide when they will issue a heat alert
How does the heat health alert system work?
From May 15 to September 30 of each year, Toronto Public Health staff monitors the Heat Health Alert System to determine when the Medical Officer of Health should declare a Heat or Extreme Heat Alert. Using spatial synoptic classification, the Heat Health Alert System compares forecast data to historical meteorological conditions which have in the past, lead to increased mortality in Toronto.
Forecast data includes weather conditions such as temperature, dew point, humidity, cloud cover, wind speed and direction. The system also considers when in the summer season offensive conditions are present and the number of consecutive days oppressive conditions occurred.
Heat Alert is when forecast weather conditions suggest that the likelihood of a high level of mortality is between 25 and 50 percent greater than what would be expected on a typical day.
Extreme Heat Alert is when forecast weather conditions suggest that the likelihood of a high level of mortality is at least 50 percent greater than what would be expected on a typical day.

5. WEAR THE PROPER CLOTHES: Wear light coloured clothes that are made from breathable performance fabrics that are designed to help your body cool down quickly

Vintage Fitness does offer personal training outside including Nordic Walking. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask me

Vintage Fitness


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