Strive for acclimatization
We should also slowly get used to the unfamiliar heat, says Dr. Gibson, a process known to scientists as acclimatization, which sometimes involves exercising at your discretion when the day is the warmest. This approach helps condition our bodies to better deal with the heat. As soon as we have acclimatized, we sweat earlier and more profusely than before, dissipate internal heat better and feel more resilient and less tired.
However, acclimatization should be gradual. To start off, apply sunscreen, fill a water bottle, go outside after about 10 a.m. when temperatures rise, and try a gentler version of your standard workout, says Carl James, a senior physiologist at the National Sports Institute in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and co-wrote the review. For example, if you typically run for 30 minutes, maybe jog for 20 minutes and watch how you feel. If your heart seems to be racing, he says, or you feel bad, “slow down”.
After a few acclimatization sessions, you should find that your clothes and skin are soaked, says Dr. Gibson. Congratulations. “Sweating earlier and more is a good sign that heat adjustment is taking place,” he says. Most of us acclimate after about five to ten hot workouts, he adds, although women, who tend to sweat less than men, may need an extra light workout or two to fully prepare for tougher workouts in the heat to be.
Take a warm soak
Take a shower after each acclimatization session, but turn up the heat. Standing under a warm shower jet or soaking in a hot tub for about 10 minutes after a hot workout prompts our bodies to further acclimate, says Dr. Gibson. “It expands the stimuli for heat adaptation,” he emphasizes, “and is therefore welcome and beneficial.”
Sip a slushie beforehand, consider cold underwear
An icy drink before a hot workout “helps with hydration and provides a combination of perceptible and actual cooling,” says Dr. Gibson. Try drinking about 16 ounces of cold liquid about 20 minutes before you set off. Drinking closer to the beginning of the session can cause stomach upset during your workout.