Is Working Out In Extreme Weather Harmful?

Extreme weather can discourage even the most motivated exercisers. Most of us have a good reason to say ‘NO’ to exercise in extreme weather conditions and unless not motivated enough the desire to pack up the exercise kit is immense. But fortunately even in extreme weather conditions with little extra precautions we can carry out with regular fitness regime. So we don’t have to let these conditions spell the end of our exercise.

While exercising in hot weather people are generally susceptible to dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and sunburn. It is very important that we should not ignore the warning signals given by our body and generally most forms of heat illness can be avoided by following the basic precautionary guidelines.

  • Drink enough fluids to keep the body hydrated. Sweat leeches salt and minerals from the body therefore to keep up the sodium and electrolyte levels salty food or sports drink should be consumed.
  • It is advised to acclimatize well with the weather if you have come from some colder region. The best hours to do exercise are either sunset or sunrise.
  • Appropriate lightweight, light coloured and loose fitting clothes should be worn and it would be much better if the clothes are made of such fabric which soaks sweat and gives you a cool feeling. Cotton, nylon and linen are no doubt extremely light, water resistant and skin friendly.
  • Sunburn decreases your ability to cool yourself and cause fluid loss. Use sunblock with SPF 15 or higher. Wear hat that provides shade and allows ventilation.
  • Also sensible eating is advised. One must avoid hot foods, alcohol and heavy food that increase your core temperature.
  •  In order to maintain cooler ambience while exercising indoors, Cotton curtains with blackout lining should be draped in the windows so that direct sunlight and heat could be avoided.

Similarly in extreme cold conditions there is no reason for you to creep into your down and feather duvets but with little extra care you can exercise to your heart’s content. But in case you have certain health conditions like asthma or heart problem then the doctor must be consulted prior to workouts. The following tips should be followed

  • This must be kept in mind that you are not dressed too warmly rather you should dress in layers. While exercising lots of heat is generated and as a result we sweat a lot. Then the temptation to remove the clothes is immense. And the moment the sweat cools off with fewer clothes we might get the chill. Therefore a sensible choice of layered clothing is a must. The innermost layer should be of synthetic material which sucks the sweat away from the body.
  • While doing floor exercise thick cotton rugs should be used; they will surely keep you away from the chill and instead of sitting on bare flooring, floor cushions should be used,  as they will give you good extra padding.
  • While venturing outside for outdoor exercise activity hands, feet and ears should be properly protected. Mittens lined with wool or fleece, thermal socks as an addition over the normal regular socks, hat or a headband, woollen scarf and pair of good shoes must be a part of our exercise apparel. One must avoid venturing outside in a bad weather when it rains or snows.

As they say prevention is always better than a cure. With smart thinking and little precaution we can make the most of any kind of weather. Stay fit, stay cool and happy exercising!!

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3 thoughts on “Is Working Out In Extreme Weather Harmful?

  1. I like this post! Thanks for it 😉 I wonder a lot about certain Yogic beliefs suggesting that people should not exert their body’s at all—that the mind and breath should be focused on more. Maybe working out in harsh conditions is detrimental for the average person? (However you’d want to define ‘average!’ haha!) I can see working out in extreme conditions very important to military and security forces, but for a typical westerner, this could mean a severe detriment. Be well, Clarissa!

      • Solid point, Clarissa!!! 😉 Thanks for your post. I’m going to subscribe to you. I like your style 😉

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