Summer is in full swing and the temperature is rising! How do you find exercising in this hot weather? Lost your motivation? Too hot? Too tired? Can’t be bothered? No matter what the weather, we still need to exercise to keep ourselves fit & healthy so, whether you are exercising indoors or outdoors, it’s important that you take care to keep yourself cool. Here are a few tips to make sure you stay safe in hot or humid weather.
Time it right. The hottest part of the day usually falls between 10 am and 3 pm. If exercising outside, chose shaded areas to keep you out of the sun and try to workout early in the morning or in the evening, when the sun isn’t as strong and the temperature is a little cooler. You may need to give your body up to two weeks to adapt to exercising in the heat so don’t worry if you go a little slower than normal or your body tires more quickly to begin with.
Dress for the weather. One way your body cools itself is by sweating. You can help this process by wearing light, breathable clothing that allows the sweat to evaporate from your skin. Choose lighter coloured clothes, especially if outside, because they won’t absorb as much heat from the sun, and maybe wear a hat or a sun visor to keep the sun out of your eyes.
Wear sunscreen – ALWAYS!! The last thing you want is sunburn as it will dehydrate your skin & stop your skin from cooling down. Use a sunscreen with a minimum of 15 SPF and apply it at least 30 minutes before you go outside.
Drink lots of water. Sweating can dehydrate you very quickly, so it’s important to keep drinking water, especially when exercising. Try and drink about ¼ of a pint every 15 minutes while exercising. If you exercise for more than an hour, you may need a sports drink or a snack to replace the salt and other electrolytes you lose as you sweat.
Watch your heart rate. Your target heart rate is an estimated range of how fast your heart should beat during exercise for a safe and effective workout. Your heart rate is affected by temperature and when it is warm the heart beats faster to increase blood flow to your skin to try to cool you down. This places more strain on the body and means less blood flow to your muscles, possibly resulting in muscle cramps or you may fatigue more quickly than usual. Also, if you’re not used to working out in this hot weather, you’ll probably reach your target heart rate with less intense exercise than usual, so take it easy to begin with and gradually increase your intensity. You may even consider buying a heart rate monitor – a valuable tool for exercising in the heat.
So, wherever you workout, be smart, enjoy the weather and exercise safely this summer!