How to Prevent Heat Cramps During Your Summer Workout | Total Performance Physical Therapy

How to Prevent Heat Cramps During Your Summer Workout

June 11, 2020

When debilitating enough, severe heat cramps can bring your summer workout to a screeching halt. Working out in the warm weather brings on a higher chance of cramps, yet heat alone does not cause these involuntary muscle contractions. You can reduce your chances of a cramp by taking the right steps before and during your workouts this season:

Stay Hydrated  

You’re likely familiar with the importance of drinking water before and during workouts, as dehydration can cause numerous health problems in the short and long term. But in the summer, it’s important to remember to drink more water than you usually do while exercising and throughout the day. Along with overexertion, dehydration is one of the most common causes of heat cramps during exercise. Whether you’re just following your routine or rehabbing a sports injury, making sure your muscles have enough fluid is critical when you’re pushing them in the heat. 

Implement a Gradual Fitness Regime  

Overexerting yourself in the heat is another common way people get a heat cramp. You can avoid it by starting the summer off with a slow, lower intensity workout than you’re used to and building the intensity up gradually over time. In late May and early June, the weather can change quickly, and it might be much more difficult to exercise outside one day than the next. Practicing “exercise periodization” by incrementally increasing the intensity of your training each day can help your body get used to the weather and prevent cramps and other heat-related injuries.  

Keep Your Electrolytes Up 

Maintaining high electrolyte levels is essential for workouts and recoveries. Electrolytes can keep you hydrated, help muscles heal themselves, and balance the acidity in your blood. When you’re working out in the hot weather, you’re especially vulnerable to dehydration. As such, your body burns through electrolytes faster than usual. Consuming electrolyte-rich beverages before and during your workout can help keep levels high and prevent cramping and dehydration. Adding electrolyte-rich foods like spinach, citrus fruits, and tomatoes to your regular diet can also help you when you work out. 

Exercise during the summer is a dangerous proposition if you’re not adequately prepared. For more information about the benefits of working out and physical therapy for back pain, contact Total Performance Physical Therapy today! We even feature an app for Android, Apple, and Google devices to help you continue your rehabilitation efforts!