WORKOUTS IN SUMMER: 10 Secrets for Successful Outdoor

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By amssmotwani05

Introduction

Workouts in summer heat and humidity can be tough, but there are ways to stay cool and safe. When we exercise, our bodies produce heat, and to cool down, we sweat. The sweat evaporates from our skin and helps to lower our body temperature.

When it’s hot outside or when we’re exercising intensely, we tend to sweat more. This is the body’s way of trying to cool itself down. Additionally, our bodies send more blood to the skin’s blood vessels instead of our internal organs, which helps with cooling.

  1. Plan your workouts for cooler times: Try to exercise in the early morning or late evening when the temperature is lower. Avoid the hottest parts of the day.
  2. Dress for the heat: Wear lightweight, breathable clothing made of materials that allow air to flow through. Light-colored clothes can help reflect the sun’s heat.
  3. Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout. This helps replace the fluids lost through sweating.
  4. Protect yourself from the sun: Apply sunscreen before you go outside, wear a hat, and put on sunglasses to shield yourself from the sun’s rays.
  5. Look for shady areas: If possible, choose a workout location with shade or near trees. This can provide relief from direct sunlight and help keep you cooler.

1. Allow Your Body to Get Used to the Heat

No matter how fit you are, it’s important to give your body time to adjust to exercising in hot weather. Not doing so can actually increase the risk of heat-related illnesses. This is especially true if you’re not physically fit or engage in intense workouts.

“Heat acclimation is the process of letting your body adapt to higher temperatures and preventing it from being overwhelmed during exercise,” explains Dr. Olufade. By acclimating, you’ll be able to exercise at a higher intensity and for a longer duration while keeping your body temperature lower when it’s hot outside.

To acclimate your body (either when the weather changes or if you’re visiting a place with much hotter temperatures than you’re used to), start with shorter workout sessions. Then gradually increase the length and intensity over a period of 10 to 14 days. During this time, it’s best to avoid intense or long workouts in the heat until you’ve fully adjusted.

2. Know Your Risk:

Certain groups, such as older adults, individuals with preexisting health conditions, and those who don’t regularly exercise, are more vulnerable to heat-related illnesses. If you fall into one of these categories, take extra precautions or consider indoor workouts with air conditioning.

  • Older adults
  • People who don’t often work out
  • People with preexisting health conditions like heart disease
  • People with acute illnesses like fever and upper respiratory infections
  • People taking certain medications, such as diuretics and COPD medications

3. Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is crucial, especially when exercising in the heat. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout to replenish the fluids lost through sweat. Consider carrying a water bottle with you and sipping water at regular intervals to maintain optimal hydration levels.

Stay hydrated by drinking at least 1 ounce of water per 2 pounds of body weight every day. If you’re exercising, drink an additional 12 ounces of water a couple of hours before your workout, and again about 30 minutes prior.

4. Protect Yourself from the Sun

Exercising in the summer means exposing yourself to the sun’s rays. Protect your skin by applying broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 before heading out. Additionally, don’t forget to wear a hat and sunglasses to shield your face and eyes from the sun.

Include water-rich foods in your diet to boost hydration. Cucumbers, watermelon, strawberries, and other fruits and vegetables with high water content can contribute to your overall hydration level.

5. Listen to Your Body

It’s essential to listen to your body’s signals during outdoor workouts in the summer. Pay attention to signs of overheating, such as dizziness, nausea, or excessive fatigue. If you experience any of these symptoms, take a break, find a cooler spot, and hydrate until you feel better.

6. Modify Your Routine

Adapt your workout routine to suit the summer conditions. Consider lower-intensity activities, such as swimming or yoga, which are gentler on the body and offer a reprieve from the heat. Alternatively, shorten your workout duration and increase rest periods to avoid overexertion.

Adjust the intensity and duration of your workouts based on the temperature and humidity. Opt for lower-impact activities or shorter workouts during hot and humid conditions to reduce the risk of heat-related injuries.

7. Wear Heat-Appropriate Clothing

Opt for loose-fitting, light-colored clothing made of lightweight and moisture-wicking fabrics. These clothing choices allow heat to escape and help keep your body cool.

There are various cooling accessories available that can help regulate body temperature during outdoor workouts. Items like cooling towels or neck wraps that can be soaked in cold water provide instant relief when wrapped around the neck or placed on pulse points.

8. Buddy Up

Exercising with a friend or joining a group can be motivating and safer during the summer months. Not only does it make workouts more enjoyable, but it also ensures that someone is there to help if you experience any heat-related issues.

9. Listen to Your Body

It’s essential to listen to your body’s signals during outdoor workouts in the summer. Pay attention to signs of overheating, such as dizziness, nausea, or excessive fatigue. If you experience any of these symptoms, take a break, find a cooler spot, and hydrate until you feel better.

10. Gradually Acclimate to the Heat

If you’re new to exercising in hot weather, it’s important to give your body time to adapt. Start with shorter workouts and gradually increase the duration and intensity over time. This gradual acclimation allows your body to adjust to higher temperatures more effectively.

Conclusion

Exercising outdoors in the summer heat can be invigorating and enjoyable if you take the necessary precautions. By following these ten secrets, you can keep your cool, stay safe, and maximize the benefits of your outdoor workouts. Remember to be mindful of the weather conditions, dress appropriately, stay hydrated, and listen to your body. With proper planning and care, you can have a successful and rewarding outdoor exercise experience throughout the summer months.

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