Best Ways to Beat the Heat During Summer Workouts
By Born Tough on
Because summer is full of sunny and warm days, many men and women prefer to be outside doing their exercises rather than staying cooped up at home. However, the same things that make summer appealing can also take a toll on your body while engaged in a workout. More often than not, summer days can become uncomfortably humid and hot due to the cloudless sky providing little protection from the sun. On days like those, the idea of working up a sweat outdoors sounds very unappealing.
Unlike the controlled environment of a gym, the outdoors never bothers to accommodate you. Sometimes it feels like nature is going out of its way to make life as difficult for you as possible. The beams of sunlight beating down on you can cause your body temperature to rise and cause your skin to dry up. The humid air can make it difficult to breathe and cause you to sweat profusely. However, if you are the kind of person who refuses to let the summer heat stop you, it is possible to get in a good workout every day before fall comes around.
This article will provide advice on the ways you can mitigate the summer heat so it will not interfere with your workout.
Table of Contents
Adjust Your Workout Schedule:
You may prefer to be outdoors all the time, if possible, but circumstances sometimes get in the way that makes it impossible to do so. If the summer hits you with a heatwave, it could disrupt your usual workout routine. In such cases, you have to be flexible enough to make changes to your workout schedule. Doing so will allow you to keep up with your quota of exercises and stay in shape. On days you wish to take your summer workout outside, take a moment to look up the weather and temperature online. This way you have an idea of what the conditions will be, figure out what items you need to bring along, and decide if there are days that are too hot for you to exercise. You can plan out your workdays accordingly based on this information. On days where the conditions make it too dangerous to be outside, use them to rest or keep yourself busy by engaging in indoor exercises.
Times To Be Outdoors:
Depending on the position of the sun, there are certain periods of the day that are warmer and cooler than others. It is recommended you avoid being outside when the sun is at or near its zenith from noontime to the early afternoon. Because the sun is at its highest point, the air temperature will be at its hottest as well. If you exert yourself during this period, the heat will have exhausted you to the point of fatigue. If you cannot be dissuaded from going out at noon or the early afternoon, make sure to at least stick to areas that provide an abundance of shade.
You are better off going out during cooler periods of the day when the sun is low in the sky such as during sunrise or sunset. Try to get up early in the morning before 10 a.m. so that you have a few hours before the sun is well above the horizon. If you cannot do your workout in the morning, perhaps wait until the evening after 4 p.m. when the sun still provides natural light as it descends over the horizon. Either option ensures that the air temperature is comfortably low while you are completing a workout.
It is usually best to eat a full meal before you head out for your workout since you may need as much energy as possible to last a workout that can range from 30 minutes to several hours. The size of your meal depends on how much time you have available before you decide to embark. If you only have 1 to 3 hours, it is suggested you have a light snack. If you have at least 3 to 4 hours, you can afford to have a large meal. Eat right before you head out and you run the risk of cramping up. Plus, your body focusing on digestion will disrupt your other bodily functions such as regulating body heat. The intent is to get the necessary amount of nutrition to fuel your body so make sure not to indulge yourself.
While not recommended, it is possible to get in a morning workout before you have breakfast. Just make sure to have eaten a large meal with lots of carbohydrates the night beforehand. There should still be enough nutrition left from the dinner to keep you running until your next snack. Following completion of your workout, you should make sure to replenish yourself with carbohydrates and protein within an hour.
In general, make sure to carry snacks that you can eat during the breaks in between exercises. This will help make up for some of the energy you lost while exerting yourself. Following the end of a workout, you should wait until after you have rested fully before having a large meal. Instead, make do with a light snack that has fiber, carbohydrates, and protein.
If you require further information about how to plan out your meal schedule, this article will give you some extra pointers.
Always Stay Hydrated:
You should carry a container full of liquids to help replace the fluids you lose while sweating. The combination of the sun’s rays, humid temperature, and pushing your physical limits will cause you to lose a lot of moisture. This will make you vulnerable to dehydration if left unchecked. Before you leave home, make sure you have drunk plenty of water at least an hour before the start of your workout. During your workout, you should always drink about half to a full liter of water every hour. Make sure to drink regardless of whether you feel thirsty or not. Your level of thirst is not a good way to gauge how hydrated your body is. However, be careful to moderate how much water you drink or else you increase the risk of seizures or heart problems. When you return home, make sure to take another drink of water as you rest. Throughout the summer, you should drink an average total of 2 ½ liters of water per day.
While water is the obvious drink you should bring during a summer workout, you may also want to consider taking a sports drink as well. Sports drinks are full of electrolytes such as sodium, calcium, and potassium that are essential to bodily functions. Since water is lacking in electrolytes, you should take a sports drink only if your workout lasts for several hours.
If you want to know more about why it is good to stay hydrated along with other little ways to better care for your body, this article may be of use to you.
Since summer is a short-sleeve season, most of your skin will be exposed and subjected to harmful UV radiation. If not properly shielded, you may end up getting a nasty sunburn. Besides causing irritation and blistering, a sunburn can increase your chances of getting skin cancer. Sunburns can also make it easier for you to become dehydrated. Your skin has a role in blood circulation since it helps spread out body heat to the surface of your body which becomes disrupted when you are sunburned.
Make sure to apply sunscreen that has an SPF or sun protection factor of 30 to 45. Check that it is waterproof so that it does not come off when you are sweating and spread it evenly across your skin. Make sure to reapply regularly if you are outside for an extended time.
Watch Your Health:
The biggest risks to your health that strike if you are not paying attention during your summer workout are heat-related illnesses. All heat-related illnesses gradually heat your body to dangerously high temperatures. However, if you notice the warning signs early enough, then you can deal with the threat before it becomes life-threatening. The major heat-related illnesses you should look out for are dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.
If you are dehydrated, you will experience headaches, muscle cramps, dizziness, fatigue, confusion, and an unusually high body temperature.
You will know you have heat exhaustion if you are nauseous, sweating profusely, have clammy skin, muscle cramps, headaches, feel faint, and have an unusually high body temperature.
Coming down with a heat stroke means you have a body temperature of at least or higher than 103°F, reddish dry skin, headaches, dizziness, nausea, confusion, and are blacking out.
For dehydration and heat exhaustion, you should immediately get out of the sun and find a cooler area. Find the nearest shade whether it is underneath a tree or inside an air-conditioned building. Immediately drink some cold liquids or pour some over your skin to help lower your body temperature. You can also use damp cloths and press them on your skin as well. Wait until you are sure that the symptoms have passed.
Immediately call for medical assistance or head to the nearest hospital if you believe you have a heat stroke or the symptoms of dehydration and heat exhaustion continue to persist.
Summer Workout Clothes:
Your choice of clothing during the summer could help you stay comfortable while reducing the amount of heat you absorb from the sun at the same time. It is recommended you avoid wearing long and dark-colored outfits. Long-sleeved shirts and long-legged pants may cover a larger surface area of skin, but it prevents excess body heat from escaping quickly. Also, dark colors absorb more sunlight and keep most of it trapped close to your body.
The characteristics to look for in summer workout clothes are that they are short, light-colored, loose, and flexible. Lighter colors cause the majority of sunlight to bounce off which prevents excess body heat from lingering. Your attire also has to be able to stretch without tearing or stopping your movement while you exercise.
Short-sleeved shirts have the most casual design yet manage to not stick to your skin when you are sweaty. This allows most of your sweat to evaporate which helps lower your body temperature.
Sleeveless shirts and tank tops have wide openings around the color and shoulders that allow air to travel throughout your upper torso which keeps you cool. Your arms, while vulnerable to the sun’s rays, can move, rotate, and stretch freely.
Shorts are typically cut at or above the knees so that your legs can bend, stretch, and kick with little to no resistance. In exchange for leaving the lower part of your legs bare, you are highly mobile which allows you to cover great distances.
You might have believed the most complex part of a summer workout was trying to follow your workout schedule consistently. But the truth is that preparing to endure the summer heat is what requires careful deliberation.
You have to figure out which days of each week are suitable to be outside based on the forecast. Be up and ready to head out within a limited window either in the early morning or late evening. Mark off your checklist of eating a hearty meal, filling up your containers, and putting on clothing appropriate for the summer. Even then, you still have to be careful for as long as you are at the mercy of the sun. You have to remember to have sunscreen covering your skin and watch out for any indications you are coming down with a heat-related illness.
A summer workout is intended to be a fun challenge, but you should still approach it with caution. If you are not mindful about all the tips that have been covered in this article, you may find yourself overheating. So long as you keep them in mind during every excursion, your summer workout should proceed without any problems.
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