Mumbai heat: Here is a handy guide for those who prefer exercising outdoors

18 April,2024 07:58 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Devanshi Doshi

As the city battles the highest recorded temperature in over a decade, we’ve drawn up a handy guidebook to help those who prefer training outdoors

Plan your outdoor training either early in the morning or in the evening to avoid the harsh temperatures

As a mountaineer, I am required to go out for a 10 to 15 km run every day. Last Sunday, when I ran 22 km, the impact of the heat on my body was obvious. During the last 5 km of that run, I felt as exhausted as when I had begun running five years ago.

I can easily do a 21-km-run without sipping on water. But this time, I had to take several water breaks. The heatwave is a surprise for everyone in Mumbai. We are all humans, and our body cannot adapt to this drastic change in weather so quickly. So, the first thing to remember while going about your fitness regime would be to listen to your body.

Experts recommend reducing the intensity of outdoor workout and focusing more on sustenance. File pics

1 Runners, walkers and joggers must not be disappointed if the distance they have covered is lesser than their usual training. This is the time to focus on sustenance. Another thing they can do is slow down the pace and take several water breaks.

2 For those who work out in the open, it is imperative that you monitor your heart rate every now and then. A smart watch would be the most ideal option. Whenever the smart watch shows that your heart rate is in the red zone, stop instantly. If it is in the green or yellow zone, go on. However, if you don't possess a smart watch, your body will still send you signals when you are overdoing it. One such signal that you should never ignore is the inability to speak in between sets.

3 Dehydration causes the muscles to become inflexible. Ensure you are warmed up well. Begin your training with sufficient stretching so that you are not fatigued quickly.

4 Summer is also when adults and children like to step out and play outdoor sports. They could either do it before the sun gets too harsh in the morning, preferably before 9 am, or in the evening post 6 pm, when it is cooler. Choose grounds and turfs with shade.

Keep tracking your heart rate to understand when the workout is getting too much for your body

5 Take frequent hydration breaks to avoid cramps and heat strokes. Carry Fast&Up electrolyte reload. Pop a pill in water and drink it on the go. Watermelon and lemon juice also help maintain electrolyte levels.

Adopt healthy lifestyle
Jashan Vij, health and fat-loss coach

Wear sunscreen before stepping out to avoid sunburn

The combination of extreme temperatures and humidity in Mumbai can significantly impact the regular lifestyle of its residents. High humidity levels exacerbate the discomfort caused by the already sweltering heat, making outdoor activities challenging. Commuting becomes more uncomfortable, leading to increased fatigue and irritability among individuals. Additionally, the risk of heat-related illnesses such as heatstroke and dehydration rise, prompting people to stay indoors more often. This can affect outdoor recreational activities, social gatherings, and even work productivity.

Furthermore, increased humidity levels may lead to issues like mold growth and exacerbate existing respiratory conditions, impacting overall health and well-being. With the IMD warning of a heatwave and soaring temperatures, fitness enthusiasts must take precautions to ensure their safety while continuing their practice, both indoors and outdoors.

Consume hydrating foods like fruits and vegetables. Respresentation pics

1 Outdoor enthusiasts should wear lightweight, breathable clothing. Applying sunscreen protects against sunburn and heat-related illnesses.

2 For indoor workouts, ensuring proper ventilation and air conditioning is essential to maintain a comfortable environment.

3 Changes in diet may be necessary to support the body's increased demand for hydration and electrolyte balance during such heat waves. Focus on consuming hydrating foods such as fruits and vegetables with high water content, including watermelon, cucumber, and oranges. Electrolyte-rich foods like bananas, coconut water, and yogurt can help replenish minerals lost through sweating.

4 Avoid heavy, greasy meals. Opt for lighter, easily digestible options that prevent sluggishness and discomfort during hot weather. Maintaining a balanced diet rich in hydrating foods and electrolytes can support overall health and well-being.

From the doctor's desk

>> Drink plenty of fluids - about 16 ounces before starting and five to seven ounces every 15 or 20 minutes. Avoid dehydrating liquids like alcohol, coffee, tea and caffeinated soft drinks.

>> Wear comfort fit apparel that helps protect against heat. Change clothing if it gets completely saturated.

>> Slow down and work at an even pace. Be aware of your limits and ability to workout safely in heat. Schedule frequent breaks. Take time for rest periods and water breaks in a shaded or air-conditioned area.

>> Use a damp rag to wipe your face or wrap it around your neck. Avoid getting sunburnt. Find shade or block out the sun as far as possible.

Dr Sandeep Rayate, CMO, Bhatia Hospital, founder, Shri Sai Clinic

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