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					Exercise Environment
Healthy Exercise Article 8


When considering the environment and exercise, one should
look at both the natural environment and the health club /
exercise studio environment.

Exercise and the Health Club / Studio

Many injuries occur in the health club environment, mainly due
to lack of awareness, knowledge and poor training technique.

     ●   Always make sure that the training area is sufficiently
         spacious.
     ●   If working with gym equipment, check that the
         equipment is 100% intact.
     ●   Ventilation should be adequate and not too hot.
     ●   In group fitness situations, make sure that the surface
         is not too hard (best if the floor is sprung). Also, the
         floor should not be wet or slippery.

The Natural Environment


Exercise in the heat

The method in which the body maintains a stable core temperature is through sweating. In summary, an
increased blood supply is sent to the periphery to facilitate sweating and thereby to release heat. It must
be noted that the heart has to pump harder to send the blood to the periphery. Heart rate increases even
further to maintain internal cooling as exercise intensity increases. Greatest risks during exercise at high
temperature are therefore risks due to elevated heart rate and dehydration.

One should be particularly careful in hot, humid conditions. The reason for this is because relative humidity
is higher in humid regions, which means that less evaporation takes place (air is already saturated) and
cooling through evaporation is less effective.

     ●   Always be aware of the risks of high temperature and monitor heat rate on such occasions.
     ●   Drink plenty of water, before, during and after exercise. Don’t saturate drinks too high in
         carbohydrates (be careful how high the concentration is in the energy drink as high concentrations
         can even decrease hydration).
     ●   Wear light clothing in hot conditions.
     ●   Acclimatize slowly to the heat i.e. don’t start off running at mid–day on the hottest day!
     ●   Decrease intensity in hot conditions.

Exercise in the cold

Exercising at cooler temperatures is usually much more comfortable than in the heat. At more extreme
temperatures, one should still be aware of associated dangers. Decreased blood flow to the heart can
cause angina (heart related chest pain). Increased production of urine by the kidneys can also lead to
dehydration.

     ●   Wear clothes that cover the whole body, but must still allow for perspiration.
     ●   Drink lots of water

Exercise and pollution

Absorption of oxygen in regions high in pollution is low. Pollution levels can also vary at different times of
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the day.

     ●   Avoid activity during peak traffic hour.
     ●   People sensitive to allergies e.g. asthmatics, should be particularly aware of the times at which
         they exercise.

Energi, Your Good Health




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