Danny Marchant didn’t seem to be sweating that heavily early Monday afternoon but then 40-mile bike rides are part of his daily routine. Still, as the temperature climbs, he gets out earlier and earlier. And he often sees those who are just starting mid-day riding red-faced or pushing their bikes.
“You can tell they’re starting to struggle,” said Marchant, 74.
He has the right approach as temperatures return to the 90s this week and the humidity remains high, said Tim McLane, the senior athletic trainer for the outreach program at Georgia Regents University Sports Medicine. High temperatures are expected to be in the low 90s with relative humidity probably not dropping below 45 to 50 percent in the afternoon over the next few days, said Meteorologist Dan Miller with the National Weather Service in Columbia.
“That is fairly humid,” he said. “But that is kind of normal for this time of year.”
The problem may be that the rainy last few weeks might have kept people from getting their normal exercise in outdoors, where they will suddenly be facing the higher temperatures and humidity, McLane said.
“We may not be quite ready yet,” he said. “We really need to have everybody monitoring their heat and their hydration levels, just to be sure. And be smart about the time of day they do go out and run and exercise.”
McLane said caution and common sense should be used.
“If they think they are too hot, if they think they are sweating too much, they probably are,” he said.
Drink plenty of fluids before, during and after exercise outside but avoid caffeinated and sugary beverages like sweet tea and colas, McLane said.
“Because of the caffeine involved and the sugar levels, the kidneys are going to work real hard and they cause you to have your body eliminate fluids through our natural processes,” he said.
Try to wear looser, light colored clothes and look for those fabrics that will wick sweat away from the body, McLane said.
“Our bodies sweat to help cool us down, it is a mechanism that God and Mother Nature gave us,” he said. If the clothing is too sodden with sweat, it can actually impair that process.
Try to exercise early in the morning or in the evening and avoid the hotter temperatures and humidity that can build up in the afternoon, McLane said.
“You almost need to wait until a little bit before sunset” to head out, he said.