When Summer hits and warm temperatures rise, just thinking about heading out for a workout can be draining. However, it’s actually not all in your head — working up a sweat during the serious summer heat puts a lot of added stress on your body. Mayo Clinic explained that hot weather leads to a more dramatic increase in body temperature. Therefore, your body sends more blood to circulate through the skin as a way to cool off, but, at the same time, increases your heart rate. The humidity makes high temperatures even worse, because it prevents sweat from evaporating off of your skin.
We all know the heat can make you feel bogged down, but it can also be harmful if you aren’t careful. The most important thing to remember above all else is staying hydrated. According to Livestrong, adequate hydration not only aids in maintaining your fluid levels, but also helps to cool your core temperature. When the temperatures soar, these six tips will help you keep your cool so you don’t have to miss a workout.
- Invest in a water bottle
Carrying water with you is an absolute necessity if you’re exercising outside. There might be a drinking fountain or two nearby, but you’re going to need more than a few sips to keep yourself cool. Classic plastic models aren’t always the best choices either. Even if your water might be chilly when you leave the house, the extreme heat will go to work on the liquid pretty fast. It’s a good thing that today, there are a multitude of water bottle brands that are designed to keep your beverage cold much longer than a plain, plastic bottle.
- Get out there early, or late
During the Summertime, it might be wise to avoid your lunchtime workout and opt for a more cooler time of day. Not only will it save you the heat, your body won’t feel as much of the exhaustion from the scorching temperatures. According to Active.com, unless you are training for an event that takes place in the daytime heat, you should avoid exercising from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m because it’s the hottest part of the day. Generally, the early morning is the best time to workout, especially if it’s going to be scorcher that day.
- Wear loose, light-colored gear
The lighter colors will help reflect heat and while performance fabrics are the best option (since they are designed to keep you cool), cotton materials also help the evaporation of sweat.
- Try something different
Biking, running, and tennis are fantastic exercises any time of the year, but they can all prove extremely challenging during the heat of Summer. If it’s just too hot for your go-to activity, try something different. Swimming is an incredible workout and if you live on the coast, why not take a stab a surfing? You’ll still be able to enjoy the outdoors, but the exercise will be more manageable from the cool water.
- Head indoors
Active.com says that runners should be particularly wary of hot weather if they live in an area with a lot of pollution. So, hitting the treadmill or elliptical in the gym is probably a safer bet.
If you insist on putting in some time outdoors, consider adapting your workout. Kenny Boyd, athletic trainer for the football team at the University of Texas, told U.S. News and World Report to try just the core part of your workout outside. You can use the gym for your warm up and cool down.
- Listen to your body
The most important thing is to listen to your body. If you’re out in the heat and begin feeling dizzy, faint or nauseous, stop immediately. Overall, just be smart about your expectations. No need to try to set a new record in 100-degree weather.