The sunny days of summer often give us a good reason to get out and exercise. Although the warm weather often motivates us to stay in shape, sometimes it can be too warm. And, when it gets too warm, it could become dangerous. Here are a few tips to keep summer workouts cool in the heat.
Most people do not drink enough water throughout the day, even when they aren’t exercising. If you are active outside this summer, you should drink even more than expected. For 30-45 minute workouts, water should be your go-to liquid. If you’re exercising longer than that, drink fluids with electrolytes like coconut water. Drink the coldest water you can whenever you’re thirsty to help keep your body cool. Avoid drinks high in sugar and loaded with unnecessary chemicals and calories like sodas.
Try a Pre-Workout Cooldown
Studies found that taking a cold shower, or cooling down your neck or head with ice packs or cold water, can improve your performance in the heat. The cold lowers your core and skin temperature, as well as your heart rate.
Select a Shady Route
For activities like outdoor yoga, pick a shaded spot under a tree in a park, or something similar. You want to stay out of direct sunlight as much as possible. If you run to stay fit, make sure you find a shady route for your jog. Try logging on to Road Runners Club of America which features running routes around the country. If you can’t find a route completely shaded, try to jog behind buildings that block the sun, under trees, next to fences and through other shady spots that might be in your path. It’s also a good idea to check the forecast before you head out, so you know which times of the day will be cooler.
Put on Breathable Clothing
Most people will just through on a plain cotton shirt and shorts, but you should buy clothing made of breathable fabric that keeps away sweat and allows your body to cool. There is clothing available that is specifically designed to do just that, featuring synthetic fabrics, such as micro-fibers and polyesters. If you really want to keep cool, you can even invest in specially designed arm-cooling vests, gloves or sleeves.
Have an Alternative Plan in Place
If the temperature is just too hot, don’t exercise outside. Safety should be your number priority. Getting in shape is great, but doing it in a hazardous or unhealthy way should be avoided. Work out inside in an air-conditioned environment, like your home or a gym.
Stop if Something Feels Wrong
If you get muscle cramps, nausea, headache or dizziness during your workout, stop immediately. These may be signs of heat-related illnesses that can be potentially life-threatening. Lie down and start drinking some water as soon as you can. If you are experiencing signs of heat stroke, take some of these steps to treat it.
Enjoy the benefit of good summer weather this season by taking your workouts outside, but remember that safety is key. Before you start your next jog through the park or yoga session on the beach, consider how to stay safe during your time in the heat.
If you feel inspired but aren’t sure where to start your next workout, check out our 5 budget ways to get fit this summer.