Summer Workout Cooldowns: How to Beat the Heat
Now that summer is in full swing, the sunny weather is an open invitation to take your workout to the great outdoors.
After all, why stay in a stuffy gym for hours when you could do yoga on the beach or go trail running with your best friend?
Yet as the temperatures rise, the temptation to stay indoors and surround yourself with the comforts of air conditioning and ice cubes is almost irresistible.
So how can you beat the heat and get in a great summer workout?
First, Check with Your Doctor
While exercising outside in warm temperatures is perfectly safe for most people, there is a huge risk you’ll want to watch out for: Heat Stroke.
According to experts at WebMD, “heat stroke results from prolonged exposure to high temperatures – usually in combination with dehydration – which leads to failure of the body’s temperature control system.” Symptoms can include nausea, fainting, seizures, confusion, and sometimes loss of consciousness.
If you’re new to exercise or are taking any medication, then you may be sensitive to the heat, increasing your risk for heat stroke. Make sure you get your Doctor’s green light before spending extra time outside.
Additionally, staying hydrated and keeping out of the heat is essential for staying safe when you participate in your next summer workout.
Watch the Clock
The heat is most intense between the hours of 10 a.m. and 7 p.m., so you may have to change your workout times to avoid getting scorched.
Additionally, if you’re participating in intense exercise and are sweating up a storm, then you’ll want to make sure to that you stay hydrated.
According to experts at the American College of Sports Medicine, “Individuals should develop customized fluid replacement programs that prevent excessive (greater than 3 percent body weight reductions from baseline body weight) dehydration.”
Aim to drink about 15-20 oz. one to two hours before your summer workout, another 8 to 10 oz. 15 minutes before you begin, and then another 8 oz. every 15 min you participate in physical exercise.
Get Used to it -Gradually
If you’re unaccustomed to humid weather and high temperatures, then you’ll want to give your body some time to adapt and adjust. Rather than charging full-steam ahead and putting your body at risk, try exercising outside for only a few minutes a day and then gradually increase that time until you’re comfortable with what you can do.
Along similar lines, try to avoid drastic changes in temperature, such as going from blistering summer heat to ridiculously cold air-conditioned buildings. Slowly cool your body down and ease into the different temperatures to reduce stress on the body.
Dive into Summer Fun
Hot temperatures can take the fun out of even the most exciting summer workout, but fortunately, swimming is a great way to squeeze in a little cardio without working up a sweat.
Water whisks away heat, making it the perfect way to stay cool while you exercise.
Additionally, swimming can lower your perception of how difficult your workout really is. What feels like casual swimming could actually burn up to 300 calories per hour!
However, you’ll want to make sure that you drink plenty of water (fresh water not pool water) to keep your energy levels up.
Put Safety First
With these tips and tricks, you can ensure that you have a great summer workout without putting your body at risk.
Keep in mind, however, that even with these tips and tricks, it’s probably not a good idea to take your workout outside if the temperatures climb above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.