Townsville Bulletin - Townsville Eye - - EYE FITNESS -

There are clear ben­e­fits of ex­er­cis­ing in warmer weather. We move more eas­ily as it take less time to raise the body’s core tem­per­a­ture. This same prin­ci­ple al­lows us to start our ses­sions with a bit more in­ten­sity in warmer tem­per­a­tures too.

An­other ma­jor plus is that we burn more calo­ries ex­er­cis­ing in higher tem­per­a­tures as the body has to work harder to cool it­self down.

The body re­leases heat through sweat which comes from blood that’s pumped to the skin. The hot­ter your body gets, the more blood your heart needs to pump to ex­pel that heat. It may be more com­fort­able to ex­er­cise in an air­con­di­tioned gym en­vi­ron­ment in the sum­mer months but keep in mind it takes longer to ex­pe­ri­ence the ben­e­fits of a real sweat ses­sion, some­thing you could be achiev­ing in half the time out­doors.

Ob­vi­ously, along with the ben­e­fits of adding heat to train­ing, there are things to look out for.

The best ad­vice is to avoid train­ing in the mid­dle of the day when the sun is at its hottest. Sun­stroke or heat ex­haus­tion is quite com­mon in ath­letes who push their bod­ies in high tem­per­a­tures.

It’s also dan­ger­ous if your body is not con­di­tioned to ex­er­cis­ing in warmer tem­per­a­tures. Know your lim­its. You need to build up to an out­door ex­er­cise rou­tine rather than just tak­ing what you do in a gym out­side.

The warn­ing signs of heat stress are fa­tigue, cramps and dizzi­ness. Pay at­ten­tion to what your body is telling you.

It brings us to the ob­vi­ous ques­tion: “Wa­ter! How much do I need?”

A good way to mea­sure your fluid loss is through weigh­ing your­self be­fore and after your ex­er­cise ses­sion. This will give you an idea of your fluid loss through sweat. In some cases, you can lose up to 2L of fluid. The best bet is to re­place flu­ids as you ex­er­cise. Sip­ping wa­ter re­plen­ishes your body’s vi­tal wa­ter con­tent rather than drink­ing large amounts in one sit­ting.

A sports drink may con­tain elec­trolytes to re­place the salts your body is los­ing but I rec­om­mend avoid­ing these as they usu­ally have a high su­gar con­tent too. Wa­ter is best.

If you’re train­ing for ex­tended pe­ri­ods of time and los­ing a lot of sweat, then re­plac­ing your body’s salts is nec­es­sary to help with re­cov­ery. Elec­trolytes can be bought from the chemist if you fall into that cat­e­gory. Al­ways read the la­bels to see what you’re in­gest­ing.

Mag­ne­sium can be re­plen­ished by tak­ing a tablet or added to drinks in pow­dered form.

At the end of the day, sweat­ing is good for us. Some peo­ple sweat more than oth­ers; some find it un­com­fort­able, but it’s what our bod­ies are de­signed to do. As I like to re­mind my clients, with­out sweat there is no choco­late.

D R E W G R I F F I T H Gym owner Drew Grif­fith holds a Cert III and IV in Fit­ness and is a Cross­Fit Level 1 Coach. The strength and con­di­tion­ing trainer has been help­ing peo­ple achieve their health, weight, sport and fit­ness goals for the past 30 years.

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