Yesterday, I walked up to my PT client who was warming up on a treadmill

Just before 10 in the morning,

And she said, “It feels like there is no air in here.”

I had to admit she was right.

The gym has air conditioning and several fans blowing air around, but with this heat wave we’ve been having — 108 degrees, really? — it felt a little stifling even indoors. At home, we’re keeping the thermostat at 78 during the day, with a couple fans blowing, and it’s not bad, but I’m ready for this heat to break, at least a little.

During her workout yesterday, my client did really well, as usual, lifting a personal record in the machine chest press and increasing the number of step-ups with dumbbells from 15 to 20 reps each side, but by the time we went over and started doing dumbbell shoulder press and some kettlebell squats, I could tell she was struggling a little bit, so we eased up some.

Which brings us to today’s topic:

Exercising safely in the heat.

Heat puts extra stress on your body. To try and cool down, the body sends more blood circulating through the skin, leaving less circulating through the muscles and increasing the heart rate. If it’s also extra humid, sweat doesn’t evaporate as quickly and that adds even more stress and increases your core temperature.

All this can lead to early fatigue, and possibly things like heat exhaustion or heat stroke, which can be serious. Here are some of the warning signs that you’re overdoing it:

  • Excessive sweating
  • Muscle cramps
  • Feeling weak
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Increased heart rate

Like I said, when I noticed my client struggling a little today, I asked her if she thought we were pushing a little too hard, and said, “Maybe a little.”

What she meant was, “Yes,” but she didn’t want me to think she was just slacking. So we backed off a little; slowed things down; quit pushing quite so hard.

Here are some things you can do to try and avoid problems when you exercise:

  • Wear loose, lightweight clothing
  • Avoid the midday heat
  • Drink plenty of water; more than you would otherwise.
  • Pace yourself.
  • Listen to your body.

A friend of mine likes to say, “Some days, 100 pounds feels like 50, and some days 50 pounds feels like 100.”

Anytime you’re working out — and especially when it’s hotter than normal — pay attention to your body and when it tells you to back off, listen.

Be safe, y’all …

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