Frankly, working out or going for a run in humid weather sucks. Those of us who’ve exercised in the winter, in windy conditions, and even in the rain, can agree that we would pick these conditions over soaking in the heat any day.
According to exercise physiologists and experts, working out in humidity is worse because the sweat doesn’t evaporate as it would in drier conditions. Evaporation is important because it cools us down during intense activities.
Also, because there is no evaporation, the body makes use of more blood to try and cool down. This means less blood for the muscles, which in turn increases your temperature and makes breathing harder. Essentially, it’s a recipe for a sticky, drenched experience where you tire out quicker than usual. It sucks.
The good news? It doesn’t have to be so bad. With these simple tips, you can have a more fulfilling workout:
Stay Properly Hydrated
Where humidity is concerned, you need to do a bit more than just gulp some water before heading out for a run. It’s recommended to drink 16 to 20 ounces of water four hours before exercising. You should also carry a bottle, so to keep the body hydrated and replenish lost fluids during the workout.
The fluids you drink after exercise count a lot as well. Medical experts recommend drinking plain water after 30-minute runs. If you did a higher-intensity workout, adding electrolytes or sports drinks to your fluid intake is ideal.
Take It Easier At The Start
No, this is not another excuse to limit yourself; it’s simply a way of adapting to the humidity and getting the best out of a workout.
Cutting back on the duration and intensity of your workout means you’ll start slow and gradually build the body’s adaptation to the humidity. As the body adapts to the humidity, you can progressively move to your regular intensity.
Schedule Your Workout
Take note of periods when the humidity is at the highest. This means you have to differentiate between the humidity and the actual temperature. This is important because it’s easy to feel like humidity is really high in the afternoon during summer. The truth, however, is that humidity is usually at the highest in the morning because that’s when the air temperature is cooler and more drenched with moisture.
You’ll need to start measuring the heat index to note when to avoid exercising or the best periods to head out. This measurement combines the humidity with the air temperature to calculate what the temperature feels like.