With temperatures and humidity on the rise in the Carolinas, tackling a workout might be the last thing you want to do when it's hot and sticky out.
Even if you are motivated to get moving, you can still suffer from heat-related issues like heat cramps, heat stroke, and extreme dehydration that can derail your fitness goals.
Summer bodies may be made in the winter, but we still need to stay active to maintain them all summer long (especially once those backyard brews and barbecues start popping up each weekend!)
Stay on track and get your fitness on safely this summer with these hot weather workout tips!
1. Stay Hydrated
The warmer the weather, the easier it is for us to get dehydrated. Be sure to drink water before, during, and after you exercise to replace what's lost during your workout!
If you are working out for an hour or less, some nice cold water is your best drink choice because it can be absorbed quickly. If you plan to work longer than that, you should also consider drinking a sports drink to help replenish electrolytes and sodium after your workout.
Another great way to help rehydrate during a long workout is by taking a break to eat fruit and veggies. Foods like apples, oranges, carrots, and celery make a great, quick snack to get your energy back up and can also work to help replace electrolytes!
2. Avoid the Hottest Part of the Day
One of the simplest ways to avoid getting overheated from working out on a hot summer day is to pick a time either earlier in the morning or later in the evening.
At mid-day, the sun can add nearly 20+ degrees to the air temperature.
Although it might be easier to opt for a workout earlier or later in the day if you're set on that outdoor run at noon, consider finding a more shaded route (and taking a water bottle with you!)
3. Protect Your Skin
Your skin and its underlying tissues are designed to move warm blood away from your core to keep your internal organs cool. When your skin is damaged or left unprotected, it can prevent your body from cooling down as easily.
To protect your skin, start by wearing sunscreen when heading outdoors. You should also consider wearing clothing with a looser fit and lighter colors to help block and reflect the sun.
Remember: Nylon and Cotton/Lycra blend clothing are made of synthetic materials that will trap heat and moisture more easily. Opt for workout clothes that are lightweight and moisture-wicking!
4. Try Heat-Friendly Exercise
Hiking, running, and biking are fun and a great way to get some outdoor activity. But when things start warming up, it might be better to opt for more heat-friendly activities.
Because your body is already stressed from the heat, activities like swimming and yoga are great alternatives to try! From a fitness standpoint, these heat-friendly exercises are a great way to get moving without using as much energy as running or riding your bike.
5. Know When to Head Inside
Working out puts a lot of stress on our bodies, even in perfect conditions. So when we add heat to the equation, we need to stay tuned in to what our bodies tell us during our workout.
Although you are tough and want to get the most out of your workout, don't ignore these serious warning signs that are telling you it's time to head inside:
- Muscle Cramps
- Nausea or Vomiting
- Rapid Heart Rate
Remember, it's the frequency that you are active that matters most! The more frequently you are active will always be more important than the calories you burn in a single workout.
Getting 30-minutes of daily activity is enough to have huge positive health effects over time.
So if you want to get active, but it's just too hot, stay indoors and train at your local gym!