Paddle Healthy | Five Simple Ways to Beat the Heat

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Photo: Will Taylor

Five Simple Ways to Beat the Heat

Struggling with your regular summer standup paddling sessions because of blazing heat? Don't worry, you’re not alone. Summer can be tough, but you can beat the heat by changing up your SUP routine to fit the sizzling summer temperatures. A little bit of pre-paddle preparation and mindful paddling will allow you to enjoy your more board time—without the annoyance of overheating early on in your workout. —Shari Coble

Hydrate Pre-Paddle and Carry Hydration

Starting out dehydrated can hurt your workout and more importantly, it can hurt your health. Prior to hopping onboard, recount your fluid intake over the past day, take note of the color of your urine–if it's dark, you're likely dehydrated–and make sure to carry a hydration pack or water bottle while you paddle. Just remember, when you're thirsty, you're already dehydrated.

Plan

Part of every pre-paddle plan involves some type of checking the conditions—knowing what to expect allows you to choose the proper type of workout, location or route, and how to dress. Harsh conditions during the warm season—changes in wind, increased temperature, higher humidity, and little or no cloud cover—also affects how much hydration you need and what to wear. Without thoughtful pre-paddle preparation, serious problems including dehydration, sunburn, heat exhaustion and even heat stroke can occur. Outfit accordingly, tell someone where and when you'll be paddling, and avoiding peak heat times during the day.

Slow Your Pace

Paddling when it's 70 degrees Fahrenheit with partial cloud cover and dry weather is not the same as paddling when it's 80 degrees with full sun exposure and high humidity. Adjust your workout—including your warm up and cool down—according to the temperature, sun exposure and humidity. It’s pretty simple–slow your pace and avoid early burnout.

Know Your Body's Limits

Pushing yourself is one thing, but if you don't listen to your body, heat exhaustion, dehydration and sunburn will set in without you realizing it. Symptoms that should be cause for worry–and a reason to halt your workout immediately—include hot and cold flashes, dizziness or disorientation, muscle cramps and even cessation of sweating. Seek medical attention if aforementioned symptoms' severity increases or something doesn't feel right.

Change Your Routine

Choosing a natural outdoor environment over an artificial indoors one is usually a no-brainer. However, if extreme temperatures make exercising dangerous, don't be afraid to change up your routine by hitting the gym, getting some laps in at the community pool, or hitting the beach–or lake, river, or bay–for run-swim-runs. If it's just too hot and you can't stand exercise inside, it's okay to take a rest day and reschedule your SUP session for another time. Just wait until the temperature is more suited to your body's capability.

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