Exercising in the heat - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Exercising in the heat

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Pounding the pavement in the kind of heat and humidity New York City experienced Tuesday -- highs in the upper 90s, humidity at more than 60 percent -- takes a toll on one's body.

"You could be the best athlete," said Dr. Jeremy Sperling, a New York-Presbyterian emergency physician, "you could be running marathons and it'll sneak up on you and you could suffer a heat-related illness."

Hot air heavy with moisture flows less smoothly into one's lungs, leaving exerted bodies gasping just to swallow some oxygen.

"Exercising in heat can elevate your body temperature by five degrees in the first 15 minutes," personal trainer Louis Coraggio said.

To ease that struggle, Corragio likes to slow down his workouts.

"You want to go at a slower pace," he said. "You want to breath and you want to drink before, during and after you exercise."

Longer rests and a mellower pace make one's regular routine no sweat, even in excessive heat.

Speaking of sweat, the body sweats to cool off. If it runs out of fluid to sweat out, one can faint or -- if a body is truly at 100 percent dehydration -- even die. So, replacing all those liquids becomes crucial.

"Make sure you start hydrating before you feel dehydrated," Sperling said.

When temperatures soar into the 90s, according to Sperling the best time of day to exercise outside is never. If you can, work out in an air-conditioned gym. If you must go outside to exercise, do so early in the morning.

So, to recap: When your lungs tell you the air needs thinning and your pores pour sweat, hydrate before you work out, hydrate while you work out, hydrate after your workout, slow down your workout and remember: Looking cool's less important than staying cool.

"It's more about endurance when training outdoors in the heat," Coraggio said.

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