The warm summer heat is finally here, providing the perfect opportunity to go outside and have fun. However, the heat can be a problem if you’re not careful; running, hiking and bike riding can feel much harder and can even lead to dehydration or sunstroke. Online local services marketplace, Bidvine.com, along with the professional insight of registered personal trainer, Carl Elliston, have come up with a series of tips to get you through your summer workouts.
Time of day
Unless you are training for something specific that takes place during daytime heat, avoid exercising during the day as the weather can lead you to overheat and become dehydrated. Mornings are the best time to exercise but if you really have no choice but to work out after work, opt for an evening session at 8pm (or later) when its cooler.
Ensure you are topping up on water throughout the day to keep hydrated for your late session. Be flexible and make sure you check the weather regularly to find out when the coolest part of the day is; you might find that you have to rearrange your schedule to fit in exercise during the coolest hours.
Whilst you’re sleeping your body sweats out key fluids that you need, leaving you dehydrated. This means that you should aim to rehydrate first thing, even if you do not feel particularly thirsty. For women, it is recommended that you drink about a litre of water in the mornings whilst for men two litres is recommended. Just before you go to the gym, drink a glass of water and carry a bottle with you at all times.
Try to avoid sugary pre-workout drinks in this weather as they can dehydrate you and could actually make your heart rate skyrocket, making you sweat more which can be dangerous in this heat. If you don’t drink water, diluted drinks such as sugar-free squash will suffice.
If you’re exercising for more than 60 minutes, you might want to consider a sports drink that contains good levels of potassium and electrolytes to replenish your body, however moderation is key and opt for sugar free versions.
However, drinking too much water can also cause problems as it can actually upset your stomach. Try to leave about half an hour between downing a glass of cool water and working out to keep your stomach happy.
Stick to what you know
In general, your normal routine won’t need switching up, and you should definitely never try something new when it’s more than 25 degrees Celsius outside.
You should also avoid pushing yourself too hard as this will cause you to sweat profusely, meaning you’ll need to up your water intake. Weights tend to be easier than cardio when its scorching outside, so it could be worth choosing weight training over cardio when it’s toasty and pencil in your cardio sessions for when the temperature lowers. If you do have to do cardio when it’s warm, give yourself time to acclimatise.
If you begin to feel dizzy, nauseous or tired then give yourself a break and take some time off to rest in order to avoid getting sick or injured.
Take a cold shower
Before your workout try taking a cold shower to increase the time it takes to start sweating. Leave your hair wet and, if it’s long, place it in a bun to reap the refreshing benefits when you go outside. It may feel a little weird showering before you get all hot and sweaty but it is definitely worth it.
Don’t be afraid of water
Similar to taking a pre-workout shower, if it does start raining, use this to your advantage and go for a run or a bike ride whilst its pouring. However, be careful not to get caught in a thunder and lightning storm.
Additionally, take up swimming as an alternative cardio method, keeping you cool during your workout and providing you with something new.
What to wear?
Wear whatever makes you feel the most comfortable in the gym; loose, breathable materials help with the evaporation of sweat, especially in lighter colours. Avoid tight gym tops as they will make you sweat more and opt for cotton as a cheap, breathable material.
Don’t forget sunscreen
During the summer months your skin is going to be exposed to harmful UV rays in large quantities, meaning that it is extremely important to top up on the sun cream to ensure you don’t burn. Exercising with sunburn can be especially hard and can lead to you over-heating faster and even sunstroke in the worst cases. This heightens the need to lather on the SPF before going out and exercising. Try find sun creams that are sweat resistant and, if you’re swimming outside, it’s really important to find waterproof sun creams as the sun’s rays will reflect off the water.