News

F.C. Fitness Experts Caution Breaking High-Heat Sweats

neilFalls Church-area health experts from local gyms opened up last week about the safety of exercising in extreme temperatures just days after city officials released excessive heat precautions to residents.

neil

David Neil of Vantage Fitness. (Photo: News-Press)

Falls Church-area health experts from local gyms opened up last week about the safety of exercising in extreme temperatures just days after city officials released excessive heat precautions to residents.

F.C. Curves Owner Kathy Hamor advised physical-activity newbies to start of slow and steady, adding it’s best to exercise inside if it’s hot and humid outside.

“I tell those just starting out to take it easy and start walking in the morning or evening, since it’s cooler then,” she said.

Local fitness trainers agreed, saying that walking is the safest way for anyone to begin an outdoor exercise regimen.

“You can exercise in the shade at a park because it is significantly cooler in shaded areas during the summer. It is also safer to do low impact workouts when it’s really hot,” said David Neil, director of personal training at Vantage Fitness, reminding those interested to choose “activities you enjoy because that will make it easier to do in the heat.”

Another option for exercising outdoors on a hot summer day is to keep cool and hit the local swimming pools in Falls Church. There are a handful of public pools in the area including Poplar Heights Recreation Association, High Point Pool and Lee Graham Pool.

While breaking a sweat in the summer heat, those interviewed stressed water as being pivotal to staying hydrated throughout the day. Neil recommended a gallon a day as his golden rule.

“It seems like a lot but when you break it down, it’s only 16 glasses of water,” he said, going on to point out exercisers should drink one cup of water before working out, two cups throughout and one after.

Neil called this the most important pre-exercise measure someone can take because the body needs to be hydrated before exercising. If not hydrated before a workout, the individual will begin to experience muscle cramping and lightheadedness, especially when standing and in motion.

thompson

William Thompson of Fitness First. (Photo: News-Press)

Although staying hydrated can help prevent heat exhaustion while moving, it can’t always avert it. It’s important for people beginning to exercise outdoors to know the symptoms of heat exhaustion so they can be safe when exercising.

“If your heart rate is getting high and you are not sweating anymore, then you need to stop what you are doing and drink water,” said Neil, naming additional symptoms of shortness of breath, fainting, dizziness or nausea.

“Before leaving to exercise, tell someone the destination of the work out and bring a cell phone,” he added.

With summer battle against the bulge comes the sometimes-sabotaging summer cookout. Hamor suggested avoiding alcohol and caffeine entirely, especially for avid exercisers, because both alcohol and caffeine dehydrate the body.

As for making smarter choices, Fitness First Personal Training Director William Thompson advised cookout-goers to stick to grilled meats and veggies, eating carbs like potato chips and buns in moderation.

Neil said that many people “think they’re hungry when they are really thirsty, so drink water before eating.”

He added that the most important thing to remember about keeping healthy in any season is to progressively increase the difficulty of an exercise routine.

“Your body doesn’t like change, and if you change your exercises rapidly it will not respond well,” said Neil. “So begin slowly and work the intensity up gradually.”

 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*