So, we are making it through the days of the summer heat and unforeseen humidity, but what is this sudden change in humidity doing to our bodies and our workouts? Well, lets look at an easy definition of what humidity is. According to Wikipedia.org, humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air, and water vapor is the gaseous state of water and is non-visible.
In, The Strength and Conditioning Journal, December 2008, Volume 30 Issue 6, Scott Riewald reported on how hot and humid environments cause people to adjust their sweat rate to cool their bodies. The body also adjusts sweat mineral concentrations and causes a change in athletic performance. Higher humidity reduces the effectiveness of sweating in cooling the body by reducing the rate of evaporation of moisture from the skin (Wikipedia.org). Therefore, it is very important to stay cool in humid weather to prevent heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
A few tips for controlling your body temperature are to dress in light colored, loose fitted clothing that allows evaporation of sweat. For example,Under Armour clothing does an excellent job at pulling sweat away from the skin, and with the sweat comes heat dissipation which cools our bodies. If possible, wear a hat and not workout during peak temperature hours. Make sure to consume plenty of water and avoid caffeine and alcohol because these drinks tend to cause the body to dehydrate. In addition, drink a minimum of 1 quart of fluid, particularly water, every hour (Lindsay Pietroluongo, eHow.com).
Have a fun safe workout, and utilize these tips for optimal performance!