Summer Workout Tips by Ken Hunt
As the old song goes—“Hot Time Summer in the City.” And, while it’s a great time of year it does get hot. Sometimes even dangerously hot, and seemingly too hot to go work out.But this is not the time for a little summer break from fitness, because you may be hurting yourself in the longer term.
It’s important to continue exercising over the summer because the effects of exercise training are rapidly lost once training stops — use it or lose it. Most studies suggest many of the key benefits are lost in four to six weeks of inactivity.
Be smarter than the heat
Still, you can’t just ignore the heat because you could wind up with heat stress, heat stroke or other problems. So to keep the heat from melting your workouts—
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Maintain salt-water balance by drinking plenty of fluids (preferably water) before, during and after physical activity. Avoid alcoholic and caffeinated beverages.
Exercise smarter, not harder. Work out during the cooler parts of the day, preferably when the sun’s radiation is minimal — early in the morning or early in the evening. Decrease exercise intensity and duration at high temperatures or relative humidity. And don’t hesitate to take your exercise inside, to the gym, the mall or anyplace else where you can get in regular physical activity.
Ease in to summer. Allow your body to adapt partially to heat through repeated gradual daily exposures.
Dress the part. Wear minimal amounts of clothing to facilitate cooling by evaporation. Remember, it’s not sweating that cools the body; rather, the evaporation of sweat into the atmosphere. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing in breathable fabrics such as cotton.
Team up. If you can, exercise with a friend or family member. It’s safer, and could be more fun.
Be on the lookout–
Because vigorous exercise in hot and humid conditions can lead to heat stress, heat stroke and related complications, you should know the signs of danger to keep an eye out for.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion:
Cold, moist skin, chills
Dizziness or fainting
Weak or rapid pulse
Fast, shallow breathing
Nausea, vomiting or both
Symptoms of heat stroke:
Warm, dry skin with no sweating
Strong and rapid pulse
Confusion and/or unconsciousness
Nausea, vomiting or both
Take steps to cool down and get medical attention immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.
And here are some things to absolutely avoid:
Coffee before a workout
You might be asking “who on earth drinks coffee, tea or any hot beverage on a hot summer day?” However, there are people who do and they have found out the hard way that water is a much better option for hydration before a workout coffee or any high octane caffeine drink act as a diuretic to your body, causing more fluid loss than normal when you consume it before a workout.
Getting a late start
If you love to work out in the morning, then this tip is for you. Putting your workout off by even an hour in the morning is not the best idea. Why? In the summer, temperatures go up much earlier in the day. So, doing your workout later puts you at risk to overheat and cause damage to your body.
Counteract this mistake my getting plenty of rest at night and continuing your morning workouts (yes, even on the weekends) as scheduled. If you must work out later, try working out in the late evening when the sun is on its way down and temperatures are cooling off.
You’re not wearing THAT are you?
OK, you don’t have to wear tight, form-fitting clothes in the summer to get a good workout. Most people would prefer to wear loose fitting clothes in order to allow their body some ventilation as they sweat through their intense workouts. However, if you’re prone to chaffing, then mixing loose fitting clothes with summer sweat can lead to an uncomfortable situation after the workout is over.
Choose clothes that are balanced; fitted but not overly tight or too loose will stave off chaffing. Wearing spandex under looser fitting workout clothes is another way to stop that pesky problem before it starts. Opt for lighter colored clothing that reflects the sun. Black and dark colors are heat absorbing and will be sure to make your workout much harder.
Eating less do more
When working out in higher temperatures, you not only need to replenish your water supply, but your food (aka energy) supply as well.
The best way to re-fuel is to eat within 30 minutes of working out. Sure, the hotter it is outside, the less you
may want to eat large meals. But keep in mind that you don’t have to eat a large meal to replenish your energy. Something as small as one hard-boiled egg and a handful of carrot sticks is enough to keep you going after a workout. Also, smoothie or whey protein shake is a great way to get your body hydrated and re-fueled.
This really has nothing to do with the shore and everything to do with the sea. When doing pool workouts, a large number of people forget to drink water. They may mistakenly believe that being in water is as good as putting water in their bodies. A workout is a workout, though, and being in water is not the same as hydrating with it.
Also, it is important to note that while an individual is in water, it’s harder for their body to expel heat. Thus, the threat of overheating during a pool workout is elevated when compared to doing a workout outside of the pool.
Instead, opt for lighter colored clothing that reflects the sun. Black and dark colors are heat absorbing and will be sure to make your workout much harder. Pastels and other colors are great for working out, and with summertime in full swing, they are fashionable as well.
A few more helpful hits
If you like working out with your partner make sure he(or she) puts a shirt on. Sure, they might have a great body, but if you are exercising outdoors for an extended period of time shirtless, or minimal clothed will likely get you sunburned. While some sunscreens provide sweat protection, a shirt coupled with sunscreen will provide much more sun protection.
Like to cycle? Then make sure to wear a helmet. Your hair shouldn’t be your primary concern when biking. Even if you have a plain undecorated helmet it will provide all the necessary protection in case of an accident.
Exercising outdoors in the summer is a great way to mix up your workout routine. Just be sure to follow these simple tips to make the most of your workout. Be smart and safe and stay cool.