Don't Dread the Dew Point
Wednesday, July 18, 2018
High dew points can make even the most beautiful looking days feel like a life-size steam room. Instant sweating and uncomfortable conditions can make outdoor workouts a chore. When the dew point climbs and humidity fills the air, pay extra attention to your training needs.
Consider the tips below to keep your training safe and comfortable during days of high-humidity.
Sip. Sip. Hydrate.
Being hydrated requires more than a few extra ounces of water right before your workout. Drinking large amounts of water can overwhelm the system, and throw hydration balances off even further. Small, frequent sips throughout the day and during your workout allow your body to better process the fluids you are consuming. When necessary, consider adding hydration drink mixes such as Nuun or Skratch Labs to your water for additional benefits.
Start cool to stay cool
Advances in apparel technologies have led to improvements specifically designed for training in the heat. Look for clothing items with high SPF ratings to keep you safe from damaging sunrays. Other clothing brands contain all natural odor protection from silver threaded directly into the fabric. Even moisture wicking has improved, which keeps you cool and dry no matter how humid the weather. Invest in your apparel and you may just improve your performance.
Ever notice what your pets do when they get hot and tired? They rest. Heat, and especially humidity, can be detrimental to an outdoor workout. These factors add to an increased perceived exertion, which means the workout will feel more difficult. In high humidity, take more frequent breaks than you normally would. If you are performing intervals, extend your rest periods to allow for more thorough recovery between efforts. If going for a long, sustained effort, try taking 30 second breaks to grab an extra sip of water and a few deep breaths.
Train inside, play outside
When the “feels like” temperature gets too high, and the humidity negativity affects your training, it is best to play it safe. As glorious as Wisconsin summers may be, excessive training conditions have the potential to be dangerous. If you are in doubt about your safety while exercising outside, perform your workout in tolerable, indoor conditions. Use this as an opportunity to try an indoor spin or group strength training class. Be safe and save your outdoor time for lower intensity activities.
At times, Wisconsin spoils us with ideal temperatures. Occasionally, it is too hot and humid to handle. In these cases, be aware of your surrounding and conditions. Be safe and adjust accordingly!
Nick Rozek Greater Green Bay YMCA
East Side Healthy Living Director