Temperatures are rising in the Tri-Cities, and that increases your chances of experiencing heat exhaustion and dehydration. Working out in hot weather can add more stress to your body, so it’s important to take extra precautions.
The good news is that the Columbia Basin Racquet Club’s operating hours support any workout schedule. The building opens at 4 p.m. and closes at 11 p.m. during the week, so you can adjust your routine to be there in the coolest parts of the day. There might also be fewer members there, so you may have more access to popular equipment.
Medical officers at the Mayo Clinic say drinking water is a key factor in avoiding heat illnesses. Fluid will help your body cool down by increasing your ability to sweat. They recommend that you consider a sports drink for intense workouts: “Sports drinks can replace the sodium, chloride, and potassium you lose through sweating.” Most importantly, drink even if you’re not thirsty.
You can also increase hydration by eating foods that are high in water content, such as watermelon, celery, yogurt, and cucumbers. It’s also helpful to avoid caffeine and alcohol.
Whether you’re working out inside or outside, be sure to wear lightweight clothes. It also makes sense to invest in wicking fabrics that pull moisture away from your skin, which will make you feel cooler.
Wear clothes that you’re comfortable and confident in, but don’t feel self-conscious about wearing shorter shorts or sleeveless tops. Just remind yourself there’s nothing that looks better than working hard and trying to be fit.
TRY WATER AEROBICS
Want to get your heart rate up but don’t want to run in the heat? Now is a good time to try water aerobics classes. Water Running, a deep water challenge that offers a buoyant, suspended workout provides a zero to low impact advanced cardio workout for beginner to advanced fitness levels. This class includes interval training, station work and cardio with the natural benefits of the water adding balance and core work.
Another option is River Resistance. This class will give you a workout as you push against the river’s current as you walk, jog and jump their way around the river in Pelican Bay. Just remember to be prepared for the sun while you’re in the pool.
KNOW THE SYMPTOMS
During hot-weather exercise, watch for signs and symptoms of heat-related illness. If you experience any of the following, stop your work out and contact a CBRC staff member so they can help you cool down. Also, notify them if you notice that a fellow gym member is struggling and may need assistance.
- Muscle cramps
- Nausea or vomiting
- Excessive sweating
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Visual problems
TAKE A BREAK
Don’t let the heat stop you from working out, but give yourself permission to slow down if it becomes too much. Take a break in the pool, have a smoothie at The Deli, or relax by Pelican Bay. After all, one of the best things about living in the Tri-Cities is the sunshine, so be sure to enjoy it.