I was listening to the ABC recently on the topic of climate change and the possible increase in heat and humidity we may experience over summer. It made me recall a recent conversation I had with my sister Hilary in Munich and my sister Elizabeth in Rome, when they were describing the very hot conditions they were living in at that time. Not only were the temperatures high, but the humidity was unbearable. A great deal about their climate and what was happening was a notable change, attributed to climate change issues, and I started wondering what we may be in for during our summer this year.
My thoughts then turned to how to manage exercising in heat this year, using natural solutions rather than relying on artificial means. In previous years a few clients had asked about the possibility of air conditioning during the hottest months of summer. One of the problems with the air conditioning is a possibility of the air quality being compromised. I have always been aware of this.
Many years ago, we had a visit from a research project from the University of Queensland, and they were doing a study on how much bacteria and how many viruses they could find within a gym environment. It was following a case of Legionnaires disease in Melbourne. They took readings both inside and outside in the gym exercise areas, and many weeks later came back to tell me that they were going to do something unusual in relation to our inclusion into their research. They said that because we had good airflow throughout the Centre, and we didn’t have air conditioning, the air within Green Apple was so pure and lacking in viruses and bacteria that we would adversely affect their Bell Curve results, so they classified us as an outdoor exercise venue outside the scope of their gym “air quality” research project.
During COVID this all came back to me, and I was very glad we had focused on our air flow options and the emphasis on quality air as opposed to looking at how we could provide air conditioning. We have too many clients with chronic conditions, whom are more at risk than most people, to expose them to unnecessary poor air quality.
So, the question is, how can we exercise in conditions of significant heat which is challenging the body already?
At Green Apple we are lucky enough to be situated on a hill (Bald Hills) and to have the availability of strength exercise machines and cardiovascular fitness equipment outside where there is some natural wind flow from Sandgate Beach some distance away. Seldom do we have stifling heat.
We also have the pool and having a pool program in conjunction with using the progressive strength machines can substitute regular programming options until the worst of the heat is over.
Programs are made to suit each individual so tackling the problem of heat can be a tailored solution.
And sipping water regularly during any exercise will become a critical coping strategy for everyone. Dehydration is the enemy and must be avoided at all costs.
So, prepare for what may be ahead of us. Don’t avoid your exercise. Get help to choose the really important physical activity you need personally and focus on that only if conditions are tough. As we age strength will dissipate fast if we are not doing something to retain it so progressive resistance work may be what you hang on to. Water walking, stretching under a fan, where there is a will there is a way so start thinking about how you will manage your exercise during Summer.
We are here to help!