Working out during the summer heat isn’t for everyone but for those who want to continue their fitness regime in the heat, there are a few things we suggest you do.
Working our safely in the sun should be taken seriously and there are a few precautions and changes you can make to your daily workout that takes into account the change in temperature.
Your workouts shouldn’t be halted by nice weather which is why we’ve come up with a checklist to help you work out safely in the sun.
Avoid the Hottest Part of the Day
When summer arrives and the temperatures increase, you’ll need to consider this before heading outside for a midday run.
Instead, opt to do your outdoor workouts early morning, many will head out around dusk but do be aware that it will still be warm and the humidity will be high.
Staying hydrated in general is key to good health but during warmer months this is particularly essential.
If you’re working out during the warm weather, make sure your hydrated before, during and after as you’ll be sweating more you need to replace lost liquid.
If you’re gently working out, water will be fine however if you’re doing a more intense workout in the heat, then we recommend an isotonic sports drink of some kind to properly replenish your body.
Protect Your Skin
Wearing an SPF is always recommended during the summer but sometimes this can be forgotten when your getting ready for a summer workout. If you’re heading to a park or going for a run, then you need to make sure your skin is properly protected.
Wear at least SPF30 and if you’re working out for a long period of time, don’t forget to top it up as sweating will wear off leaving your skin exposed.
Dress for the Weather
The warm summer sun will make many want to strip off but if you’re working out this isn’t always the most practical solution.
Choose breathable, lightweight, light-coloured workout clothes that permit sweat to evaporate which means you can cool down effectively.
This type of clothing will also make a difference to how hot you feel and help to avoid any rashes or irritation caused by heavier clothing. You can also buy clothing with inbuilt sun protection.
If you’re really feeling the heat, dip your loose top in cold water and wring it out before putting it on, this will help you keep really cool during your workout.
Wearing a cap is also advised in the heat, keeping your head cool can help you to avoid sunstroke and wearing a wet cap will help to keep you even cooler.
Keep salty snacks nearby
When the weather is warmer, salt depletion contributes to heat exhaustion, especially when we rehydrate but don't replace the salt.
We lose salt through sweat so sometimes water isn’t enough to replace the loss of salt.
Snacks such as olives, salted nuts, or pumpkin seeds are a great way to replenish the loss of sodium and are a healthy post-workout treat. Great health bars also have sodium and potassium, but always read the label.
Precool Before a Workout
Precooling prepares your body for both the heat of the weather and the rise in the temperature of your body during your workout.
Precooling is the process of taking a cold shower or drinking an icy drink which will help to combat the high heat and may also help your performance.
Listen to Your Body
No matter how much you prepare and follow the right steps and precautions for working out in the sun, there is always a risk of heatstroke and dehydration.
Listen to your body and if you begin to feel dizzy, nauseous, cold and clammy or have trouble breathing, stop your workout, sit somewhere cool and rest making sure you stay hydrated.
The summer heat doesn’t mean you have to stop working out but it does mean you have to adapt your workouts. Whether that’s moving your workouts to the morning or taking them into an airconditioned studio, you need to look after yourself whilst still accomplishing your fitness and health goals.
Remember to drink plenty, cover up and avoid too much sun exposure.