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Buh-Bye, Gym! Tips For Transitioning From the Treadmill to the Road
Saved 8/23/10 to RunningSugar

A Reader Asks: When Is It "Too Hot" to Work Out?

FitSugar reader KittyTX loves to run outside in the heat and asked this question to the community.

I was born and raised in Texas, so I think that has a lot to do with my comfort in hot weather that everyone else thinks is miserable. I live in Austin now, and it's been over a hundred degrees for a long time now. I absolutely love the heat and hate cold weather. I actually wake up shivering in the mornings, because the house temperature has sunk to 72 degrees while I was sleeping. I HATE the environment at work, because all the (slightly overweight) women turn the AC down to the 60s.

My question is: What is the danger of working out in the 105 degree (literally) weather we have going on here? People look at me like I'm nuts and act like it's one of the worst things that I can do to my body when I head out the door at 2 into the blazing sun. The truth is, this is my favorite time of year, because it's the only time I'm comfortable. I love being outdoors to get exercise, because I have no motivation to go to the gym since I doze off from the boredom of running towards a wall for 30 minutes. I also refuse to wait until it's almost dark to go outside like most people like to do around here, because I'm a woman (whose been attacked before) and I know it's not safe. I wear tons of sunscreen. I drink plenty of water. I maintain my asthma really well, and it only really bothers me in the winter. Is it really that bad for my body?

Leave your two cents in the comments section below. If you have a health or fitness-related question of your own, then ask it here.

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chloe-bella chloe-bella 5 years 40 weeks
As long as you feel ok, working out outside is fine. Just be sure and bring some water with you, and if you're going to be exercising for an extended length of time, I would bring some sort of snack with salt in it (ex. Cliff shot blocks). The things you have to worry about are 1) not hydrating enough and 2) drinking to much water without replacing the salt you're losing through sweat. As long as you're mindful of these things and you don't push yourself to the point of dizziness/nausea/headache, you should be fine.
CCSR CCSR 5 years 40 weeks
As long as you're properly hydrated (and that includes making sure you're getting enough salt, etc), you should be fine. Just listen to your body -- if you get light headed, stop. But aside from that, go one with it. I've ran in super-hot weather tons of times this summer (and in DC is HUMID), and it's tougher, but not dangerous if you take the necessary precautions.
Raynne413 Raynne413 5 years 40 weeks
I know exactly what you mean about freezing at work. The guys here keep it SO cold. I actually have a blanket at my desk now. As for exercising outside in that kind of heat, it really isn't healthy. Besides the risk of dehydration (if you sweat enough, water alone won't cut it because you also sweat out sodium and minerals) there's the risk of heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Also, heat causes your blood to thin, so that's an added risk. For example, I'm already on blood thinner, so my doctor has pretty much threatened me about being out in the heat during the summer. Maybe you could try going out in the morning when it is cooler, but not as hot/sunny?