Study Shows Why You Shouldn’t Exercise When It’s Scorching Hot

The way that the body responds to external temperature was uncovered in a recent study which looked at how prolonged exposure to high temperatures can raise the core and skin temperature fairly easily. This leads to an inability to exercise for longer periods and reduced the blood flow to the limbs and the brain. Proper blood flow is of paramount importance at all times – especially when exercising. The effects on the skin and the internal effects on temperature are documented in the study.

The study follows nine male volunteers who all rode stationary bicycles after being exposed to a hot climate by wearing a body suit that circulated 122 degrees via water filtration. The participants were exposed to the heat in increments of 13 minutes. Another test dealt with 52 minutes of heat exposure where the core body temperature of the participant was increased. Then the researchers took specific tests of blood flow to both the legs and the brain during such exposure.

Temperature Stressors

The findings showed that this type of temperature exposure while exercising decreased the blood flow. This obviously impacts the type of workout a body would be able to safely complete.

Researchers found that “the combination of multiple stressors triggered by whole body hyperthermia, however, resulted in a compromised aerobic capacity.” When we truly contemplate the findings of this study, it can’t be that surprising. Just as the body reacts poorly to falling below a certain temperature for an extended period of time, it does the same when exposed to high temperatures in conjunction with using the body in a heightened and elevated state.

This is likely what contributes to all of the heat warnings that go out in various warm climates. Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are very serious. The body isn’t meant to deal with those levels of heat for long periods of time. Even with the aid of water, the body can become dehydrated faster than the water can be adequately replenished.

It’s also important to note that these subjects were in relatively sound health. It wasn’t their lack of health that made their bodies react so poorly to the influx of heat and elevated amounts of exercise, it was the heat itself coupled with the activity.

Listen To Your Body

It is crucial that we realize our bodies are not invincible and that we act accordingly. There is no need for us to exercise outside in over 100-degree heat for extended periods of time. This can easily turn into a medical situation waiting to happen, regardless of how fit and in shape you are. Our bodies can overheat, and when that happens, our internal valves and bodily functions may be compromised. This is why exercising in ideal conditions is your best bet.

Make sure you are aware of how your body reacts to regular and consistent workouts. Be mindful to avoid the sun or heat for extended periods of time. Make sure you are remaining as hydrated as possible. Do not over-exert yourself or workout too long. Listen to your body and understand the potentially disastrous effects of prolonged heat exposure.

Fun in the Sun, Safely and Naturally


Not only your skin, but your entire body can be dried by a sunburn, so be sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. There are some great remedies in your kitchen for dealing with the pain. If your eyelids are burned, soak tea bags in cool water and apply them to decrease pain and swelling. Wrap some dry oatmeal in gauze and run water through it for a few minutes. Remove the oatmeal and soak a cloth in the liquid leftover and apply every few hours.


Heat exhaustion
Unlike the winter months, summer weather predictions are usually pretty accurate. Keep this in mind, and plan ahead for extreme temperatures. Limit consumption of both caffeine and alcohol, as they both speed up the dehydration process. If someone is already suffering from heat exhaustion, either splash them with cool water or apply cool towels rather than submerging them in water. This will allow the water to evaporate and absorb more quickly and have a better cooling effect.


Mosquito bites
Mosquitoes can spread a number of diseases, so the first thing you should do once you’ve been bitten is to clean and disinfect the area where it appears with soap and hot water. To help prevent or reduce the inflammation caused by a bite, wet the affected area and rub an aspirin over the bite as soon as you can after it appears. Dissolve baking soda or Epsom salts in water, dip a cloth into that water and place it on the skin of the affected area for 15-20 minutes to help alleviate the itching.


Bee stings
The most important thing to do in order to avoid pain and swelling from a bee or wasp sting is to act fast, no matter what treatment you choose. Just like mosquitoes and flies, bees often are carriers for some nasty bacteria. Clean the area first, and then scrape the stinger away so that it doesn’t continue to pump venom into your skin. Apply a paste made of powdered activated charcoal to draw the poison out. Mud is an acceptable substitute, as not everyone keeps activated charcoal lying around.