It's no surprise that many people abandon their workout goals in the summer because of the blazing hot sun. In many areas of the world, the weather extremely hot and humid which makes for an extremely uncomfortable workout. When it's so hot that you can cook an egg on the sidewalk, exercising may be the last thing you want to do. The scorching heat of summer can drain you of all your strength and energy, and with the temperatures rising every day, it's crucial that you take utmost care of your body to avoid heat exhaustion (or worse).
Summertime is an important time to stick with your workout goals, and making small adjustments in your routine during the summertime can help you to continue to reap the health benefits of a consistent workout regimen. Whether you choose to exercise in an air-conditioned gym or decide to go outdoors, working out wisely this summer can save you from suffering through the heat with potentially devastating effects on your health, and allow you to stick to your workout routine.
If the heat is too much to handle, then stay indoors. There are plenty of great indoor workout options. If you prefer jogging, instead of taking a jog around your neighborhood, check out a local gym and run on the treadmill. Gyms offer better air-conditioning (and many other amenities) to make your workouts as comfortable as possible.
You may even want to set up a simple home gym if you prefer to workout in the comfort of your own home. And if air-conditioning is not available where you decide to workout, you can always take advantage of the heat, try some hot yoga for deep, strengthening and conditioning while you work up a sweat.
If you're brave enough to endure the heat by taking your workout outdoors, check for heat advisories and avoid the midday sun if at all possible. The hottest part of the day is when the sun is directly overhead. The Mayo Clinic recommends starting slowly, and that you first get acclimated to warmer weather by introducing shorter exercises into your routine. You do not want to overdo it. You can try exercising in shorter increments throughout the day instead of doing one long, concentrated routine. Exercise in 15-minute segments at least three or four times throughout the day, and drink plenty of water and electrolytes to replace the fluids you've lost during your workout.
Select times during the early morning or the late evening so you can avoid the hot summer sun. Exercising outdoors without being in the sun for too long can be very relaxing. A word of caution: if you have mosquitoes in your area, be sure to wear your bug spray!
Dehydration can occur when you exercise whether you are indoors or outdoors. Sweating causes you to lose essential vitamins and minerals. The more you sweat during exercise, the more water you will need to drink. So keep your body hydrated by drinking water and beverages with electrolytes to replenish your fluids. You can also drink an ice slush which can also help you extend your endurance during workouts and help you stay cool. Following steps can help prevent exercise-induced dehydration:
- Drink water before, during and after exercise
- Avoid drinks that contain caffeine (e.g., coffee, tea soft drinks, alcohol) because these can increase fluid loss
- Wear light, loose-fitted clothing that wicks away sweat and cools your body
- Avoid using saunas, hot tubs, and steam rooms immediately after exercise
- When the days become very hot stay indoors or in the shade
Strength training is a good idea to take up during the summer as it helps you to stay in shape when you really don’t feel like going outdoors to exercise. There are plenty of indoor activities for strength training, and you can simply exercise at home with home gym equipment or even simple weights. Strength training helps tone your muscles and keep you fit and healthy. There are three areas to focus and work on: upper body, the core, and lower body.
Take PrecautionsIt is essential to take precautions when you're working out during the summer. Staying hydrated, wearing light clothing, and applying sunscreen and bug spray is very important if you plan to workout outside. Make sure your body temperature doesn't rise too fast because it can cause you to feel ill and end your workout earlier than you plan.
But always listen to your body's signals and never overwork yourself, especially in hotter temperatures. Many complications can arise from overheating including heat cramps or heat stroke, which is a serious medical emergency. If you start experiencing muscle cramps, nausea, irritability, headache, confusion, or any other signs of distress, remove yourself immediately from the heat to cool down and get hydrated. Try ice packs or cool, wet towels to help you get cool fast.
So how do you beat the heat and maintain that fantastic beach body for the summer? Share your tips with us that help you cool down during the summer.