Battling the elements – heat, humidity and exercise when trying to lose weight

For fitness tips this weekend, I want to talk a little about what the humidity does to our bodies – especially for women, hormones and those who are trying to lose weight in this summer heat.

My ankles were so swollen last night that I realized it must have been the humidity and the combination of salt from my freshly made popcorn (popper style) – so here are some tips on how to deal with the humidity while trying to exercise and lose weight.

For of all, let’s get into the science of humidity.

What is humidity?

Humidity is atmospheric pressure – it is a number that represents how much water is in the air or in a gas.

The humid air causes our bodies to sweat more, but the sweat is not able to evaporate from our bodies as easily as it can on cooler days. Sweat cools your body and if you are unable to produce sweat, this causes the body temperature to rise.

Dangers of humidity

Some Canadian cities are more humid than others. Alberta used to be a really dry heat but Edmonton sees more humid days as summers get more hot and storms become more intense.

In Edmonton, humid weather is usually indicative that a good storm is coming our way as we saw last night. It can also act as a warning for tornadoes or heavy t-storms with high winds. When the temperature drops 5–10 degrees in a short time – that’s a sign you should think about taking cover and turn off your electronic devices.

Cities like Montreal, where I visited in 2017 – are extremely humid. My first day in Montreal – the humidity was 99% and the temperature was 34C. It was unbearable. I spent most of my trip locked in my dorm room wishing I had air conditioning.

As our comrades in Calgary saw last night, they had a massive dump of hail – enough to make it look like snow! Make sure to cover your plants on humid days!

Drink Lots of Water

Drinking water is key when it comes to surviving hot and humid summer days and nights. I need my drinks to be ice cold even though the ice melts fast. Drink water throughout the day. Avoid caffeine and keep coffee to a minimum. The water will help to hydrate your body and keep you feeling “cooler”.

Cooling Down

If your body doesn’t handle the humidity well, you may want to opt out of working out that day or work out early in the morning when the weather is cooler. Moving in general is a good idea to help keep the joints moving – but avoid high impact work outs that really make you sweat. Swimming is a great activity on a hot humid day.

Fans and blackout curtains

If you don’t have air conditioning, consider purchasing a few stand up fans to put around your home. Place them near the windows early in the morning.

To trap the cool morning air in your home, close all windows and curtains by about 10 in the morning. This is when the weather starts getting hotter. Blackout curtains can help with keeping out the heat – especially the thermal kind.


There is a saying that a warm shower on a humid day will cool you off. I find that sometimes I need two showers from the sweat – especially if I’m outside in the heat.

If you have a swimming pool in your building or close to you – go for a dip (once the pools are open). Or head on out to the beach and go for a swim.

Or if you happen to be on vacation, enjoy the pool side view and take in a couple of cocktails – read a good book or have a Siesta.

Photo by Thorsten technoman on

Food for humid days

Avoid foods high in fat or salt. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Most fruits have a high concentration of water in them – watermelon, strawberries and mangoes are all great fruits to snack on. I have a huge rubbermaid container of watermelon waiting for me. Berries in general are delicious and high in nutrients that are just good for your body.

The trick is to wash all your fruit when you get it home from the store, cut it up and store in glass or plastic containers. If you’re single like me, freezing fruit is also great for longevity.

Photo by Trang Doan on

Healthy food for humid days

Cold cuts, sandwiches, finger foods – these are all great things to snack on during the day. I find I don’t get very hungry on humid days. The last thing I want to do is turn on the oven or eat hot food. Stick to fun, and healthy snacks like apple and peanut butter, celery sticks and cheese dip, nuts, protein balls, and Greek yogurt when you get hungry.

Make a nice bruschetta, spinach dip or layered dip – pair it up with some whole wheat bread or rice crackers – and you have a delicious and healthy snack.

I think tonight, I’m going to whip up some salmon, egg salad, and bruschetta. Delicious.

Taking in too much salty food on a humid day may cause your body to swell to unrealistic proportions. My ankle was the size of a baseball last night.

Photo by Binti Malu on

Thanks for reading this article. I will be posting 2-3 articles on fitness and weight loss each week including healthy recipes, and fitness tips.

Do you like humid weather? Or are you like me where you prefer to hide indoors with air conditioning? Let me know in the comments!

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