Keeping Safe in the Arizona Sun

When it comes to home fitness in Arizona, there is no doubt that having indoor workout equipment is a big plus. After all, the heat can get quite high in Arizona throughout the year, but particularly during the summer. So, if you decide to head outdoors for any part of your workout, it is important for you to be aware of the temperature and how high temperatures can potentially affect your body.

The way heat affects the body is actually a bit more complicated than you might realize. For example, when your body becomes overheated, it attempts to dissipate the heat through a variety of methods, including varying the depth and the rate of blood circulation and excreting water through the sweat glands and skin. When the body becomes heated above the “normal” 98.6 degree temperature, it may even lead to panting.

As the body makes changes to blood circulation in an effort to cool down, the heart pumps more blood and the blood vessels become dilated. Bundles of capillaries that are located throughout the upper layer of the skin also become activated in an effort to circulate the blood closer to the surface of the skin. As such, the skin takes care of about 90 percent of the heat that dissipates from the body.

Contrary to popular belief, sweating does not actually cool off the body unless it is removed from the surface of the skin through evaporation. Of course, if the outside temperature is high or if it is humid outside, evaporation cannot take place. Therefore, as a general rule of thumb, you should consider the following conditions to be dangerous temperature and humidity levels for a workout:

·    Temperature – 86 degrees    Humidity – 90 percent
·    Temperature – 88 degrees    Humidity – 80 percent
·    Temperature – 90 degrees    Humidity – 70 percent
·    Temperature – 92 degrees    Humidity – 60 percent
·    Temperature – 94 degrees    Humidity – 55 percent
·    Temperature – 96 degrees    Humidity – 45 percent
·    Temperature – 98 degrees    Humidity – 40 percent

If you plan to workout outside beneath the hot, Arizona sun, be sure to check your temperature regularly and to wear lightweight clothing that will help your body remain cool.  In addition, don’t push yourself too hard and be sure to bring plenty of water along so you can remain hydrated throughout the entire workout.