Fitness facts: How to keep your body cool when the heat is on

Exercising in the heat can be risky, if you're not prepared. UT Southwestern cardiologist Dr. Benjamin Levine wants to keep your workouts safe when the heat is on. Here are his top tips.


You produce a lot of heat when you're exercising. And the greater the intensity of the effort the more heat your body produces. And there are a couple of things to keep in mind about exercising in the heat. The heart has to pump not only to the muscle but to the skin. And so, it's going to work harder. Some cases it might work nearly twice as hard. Take time to slowly adapt to whatever environment you're going into. Remember that high intensity exercise generates a lot of heat. That should not be the first thing that you do when you go and exercise in a hot environment. Make sure that you allow time for breaks. Not just for water, but to get out of the sun and let your body get rid of some of that heat through sweat. Lastly, make sure that you rehydrate both with water and with salt. You can drink sports drinks, you can drink pickle juice. Doesn't really matter so much. Though the longer the duration of effort the more precise you have to be about what components of fluid you're trying to replace.