The Insider: 5 tips for exercising in the heat of New Orleans

Mandy Hyde, a graduate student assistant in the Tulane Prevention Research Center, offers the following tips to help those exercising outdoors in the sweltering heat and humidity of New Orleans.   

Watch the humidity

New Orleans is hot and humid. Know the day’s heat-index as well as the actual temperature. Humidity levels greater than 65 percent prevent sweat evaporation — the body's way of keeping itself cool.

Drink water

High humidity causes your body to lose fluids quickly. Drink water before, during and after exercise even if you are not thirsty.    

Time your workout

Avoid working out between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., as this is the warmest part of the day. If your mornings are busy, aim to work out as the sun is going down.

Use sunscreen

The sun can still burn you on a cloudy day. Use sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher and sweat-proof. Work out in shaded areas or out of direct sunlight. Shaded areas can be up to 10 degrees cooler than sunny areas.

Wear loose, lightweight and light-colored clothing

Clothing light in color helps reflect the sun. Try clothing designed to wick away sweat.

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