The hottest summer in living memory may be perfect for family BBQs and afternoons in the local beer garden, but you cannot afford to let the heat defeat your fitness aspirations.
In the heat your body needs to work harder to keep you from overheating, keeping all its functions running while allowing you to carry out your day-to-day tasks and activities.
If you top that with workouts, you really want to make sure that you fuel your body the right way and take precautions to prevent accidents and injuries. Here are 5 tips on how to keep up with your fitness routine when the weather is scorching hot.
1. Accept Your Limitations
Whether you like it or not, the heat will take its toll on your body. As such, it’s very likely that you’ll struggle to match the intensity and stamina you were able to bring to the table throughout the cooler months of the year. Responding to the body’s telltale signs is essential.
Common issues include lightheadedness and increased exhaustion. Monitor your body’s response to exercise and make the necessary changes to survive in the heat. This could mean taking more rest breaks or lowering the intensity. Any exercise is better than no exercise while maintaining your health is paramount.
2. Stay Hydrated
It is suggested that you drink at least two litres of water per day regardless of the weather or your activity levels. However, it’s imperative that you increase this when working out in the summer. This is because you will lose fluids through sweat at a far quicker rate.
In addition to water, you need to think about replenishing the lost electrolytes. Failure to do this can impact everything from blood sugar levels to muscle fatigue. Isotonic drinks are an ideal solution. Stay hydrated before, during, and after your workouts and the heat will cause far fewer problems.
3. Time Your Workouts
While this summer is a scorcher, there’s no question that the sun is at its hottest from late morning through to the early evening. Temperatures will drop at night, although humidity levels may remain high. Still, working out at night – or, better yet, in the early morning – will serve you well.
This is just one of several reasons to consider online training over traditional PT sessions. Aside from gaining the motivation to drive you through the difficult summer, you can schedule workouts to take place at the most suitable times of the day. Simply avoiding the worst of the heat is sure to make a big difference.
4. Wear Appropriate Attire
Choosing suitable footwear and base layer items should be high on your agenda at all times. However, the decisions regarding the workout gear are even more crucial when the sun is beating. Clothing should be lightweight, breathable, and boast quick-drying properties.
By wearing the right materials, regulating your body temperature becomes easier while you should additionally avoid skin irritations and heat rashes. For the sake of your comfort as well as your health, getting this step right in the summer months is non-negotiable.
5. Take Skin Care Precautions
Aside from the immediate challenges that the heat serves up, you must think about the ongoing issues. Sun lotion and creams are essential items that cannot be ignored. However, it’s imperative that you choose a solution that is designed to help you during exercise and outdoor activities.
When taking on an endurance event, it may also be worth wearing a hat or a visor. Of course, your skin tone, colouring, and body’s general reaction to the sun will dictate how much care needs to be taken. Whatever your situation may be, selling yourself short in this area simply isn’t an option.
Even if your skin takes sunshine very well, don't forget about the heatstroke effect it could have on you if you are out in the sun for hours without your head being covered.
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