8 Tips for Working Out in the Heat
Orlando is already having record-breaking heat and it’s not even July! The heat can be a major drawback for people looking to work out in the summer. If you’re not careful, you can end up suffering from a heat-related health condition such as heat stroke, heat exhaustion or extreme dehydration, all of which can greatly derail you from your fitness goals.
Fortunately, we have some tips to help you safely work out on even the hottest of summer days.
Take a cold shower
Before your workout even begins you may want to take a cold shower. Once you finish your shower, ditch the blow dryer and opt for a wet head to help you to stay cool during your workout.
Stay hydrated with the RIGHT fluids
Water is your best friend on a hot day for staying hydrated; however, if you’re planning to exercise for more than 60 minutes, you may also want to consider sipping on a low-calorie sports drink or adding electrolyte packets to your water. Electrolyte drinks are important when working out for prolonged periods of time, especially in the heat, because they contain potassium and electrolytes that can rehydrate and replenish your body. The high levels of sodium may actually be good for your body as well since sodium is a key ingredient for a hot day.
As with everything, moderation is key.
Wear light clothing
Bright colors are good since they will reflect the sun and also help to make you more visible to oncoming traffic. Cotton is a light-weight and affordable material that can help you to stay dry.
If you’re willing to splurge a bit more, opt for sweat-wicking clothing to keep the sweat at bay.
Don’t forget the sunscreen
Nothing is worse than trying to complete a summer workout with a bad sunburn that makes it hard to move. Stop the burn before it occurs by slathering on the sunscreen. Opt for a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 50 and one that is water-proof so that it doesn’t come off once you start sweating.
Timing is everything
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. is known for being the hottest time of the day in the summer. If you’re planning an outdoor workout, try to do it either before or after this time slot.
Many athletes prefer to work out earlier in the morning as it can help them to stay energized throughout the day and to sleep better at night.
Hit the water
Summer is the perfect time to make water your friend. On especially hot days, try adding a water activity to your workouts such as swimming, surfing or Stand-Up-Paddle Boarding (SUP). If you have a fitness center near you, many times they will offer water aerobics or water fitness classes.
These activities will help you to stay fit and healthy in the summer in a fun and new way while also staying cool. Who knows, you may end up finding a new favorite exercise.
Prefer to run instead? No worries, you can still get in on the water action. Next time you see what looks like a “rainy day”, opt to run with the rain rather than against it. Running on a rainy day can help you stay cool, and many athletes find these workouts to be invigorating and refreshing. The key to successfully running in the rain is to be prepared. Wear bright clothing and make sure all of your clothing is water-proof (this includes shoes and accessories such as a cell-phone case). Avoid running around cars that may have trouble seeing you.
Running in a little bit of rain won’t harm you, but if you see lightning or hear thunder, you’ll want to return inside to safety as quickly as possible.
Take it indoors
There’s nothing wrong with working out indoors at your local gym or even in your home if you have equipment. On days when there is an excessive heat warning, this can be your best option to stay cool and avoid a heat-related injury while still getting in your workout.
Know your limits
Listen to your body and if you begin to feel dizzy, nauseous, or tired, give yourself a break. Taking some time off for rest is better than overdoing your workout and getting sick or injured and having to stop working out altogether.
If the summer heat proves to be too much of a challenge for your standard high-intensity workout, break it up into multiple smaller workouts throughout the day. This will allow your body time to rest and refuel without jeopardizing your fitness and workout goals.
If you need help coming up with a summer workout plan, contact me and I can help you create a plan.