Outdoor exercise in extreme heat possible with a little planning - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Outdoor exercise in extreme heat possible with a little planning

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(WFSB photo) (WFSB photo)

When temperatures climb into the 90s like the forecast called for on Friday, athletes looking to exercise outdoors have to do a little planning.

Experts told Eyewitness News that it is possible to workout in extreme heat, but carefully.

"It feels gross but we get it done and feel better and shower and go to work," said Melanie Wilde of New Britain.

People often look to beat the heat early in the day when exercising at Walnut Hill Park in New Britain.

Running coach James McKirdy said planning the time for exercise is the best place to start.

"If it's really hot at 3:00 in the afternoon, it might be beneficial for you to wait a few hours to get that workout done as the sun is setting and it's cooling down and the humidity is dying down at bit," he said.

He recommended checking the forecast first. Also, obviously, making sure to stay hydrated throughout the day.

"When you wake up in the morning, you drink a nice tall glass of water and every two to three hours after that you're drinking water," McKirdy said.

McKirdy said one of the best ways to do that is by drinking a glass of water with every meal.

He also recommended wearing light clothing to allow sweat to evaporate. People can also cool them off ahead of time in an ice cold water bath.

Another tip involves an ice cube and a hat.

"Put an ice cube inside the hat and put the hat on, and ice cubes can actually take a long time to melt and it'll help keep you cool while you're working out," McKirdy said.

In addition to the ice cube, people can use a cooling towel soaked in water.

Speaking of water, it's also nice to have it in your hand like Lynda Roman did.

"[I] keep the water in the car [and] get a drink every few laps," Roman said.

Finally, McKirdy advised reducing the intensity of workouts.

"If it's 90 degrees outside and really humid you might need to slow things down by a minute to a minute and a half per mile, and that might be a blow to the ego, but you want to make sure you're being safe, too," he said.

McKirdy said even if people slow down, the body is still working just as hard because of the heat.

If your pets workout too, keep an eye on them.

McKirdy said "pets don't sweat like we do, they're covered in hair and fur."

He recommended:

  • Break your normal walk up into a few chunks
  • Go earlier or later
  • Make sure they have water, too

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