When summer heats, it gets harder to exercise outside. As nice as the weather may be, it can be brutal exercising out in the summer heat, especially here in the southwest part of the country. It takes about two weeks to acclimate to working out in the heat, but knowing the best way to do that can make the difference between successful workouts or a bad experience. Here’s some hot Weather Workout Tips to help you start getting used to summer exercise outdoors.
Hot Weather Workout Tips #1: Dress For The Heat! Fabrics that keep the heat and sweat in can force your body to overheat quickly. Instead, try wearing loose-fitting polyester/cotton blend clothing or other fabrics designed to wick away moisture. Fabrics that are light weight allow air to pass through it are perfect, as the sweat that is absorbed by the fabric will be evaporated by the air passing over it, which provides cooling to keep you from overheating.
Hot Weather Workout Tips #2: Stay hydrated! Here’s the thing about sweating…the more you sweat, the more water you need to replace. If you are feeling hot, but you’re not sweating, you’re dehydrated, and if you’re not properly hydrated, you can suffer heat craps, heat exhaustion and even heat stroke. It’s also good to have water with you as you exercise and drink it as you go. As it take a little bit of time for your body to absorb the water you’re drinking, if you keep sipping on water every few minutes as you exercise, you’re much less likely to get dehydrated than if you wait until you feel thirsty and drink a lot of water at one time.
Staying hydrated also means drinking water, not soft drinks, juices, or other sugary beverages But, if you’re going to be at it for over 60 minutes, or your exercising outside when the heat is most brutal, you may want to also have an electrolyte-based beverage like coconuT water (and you avoid drinking processed sugars). You only want to drink coconut water when you’re really sweating hard. Coconut water does have a bit of natural sugars in it that may go against what you’re trying to accomplish for weight loss. Your cells use electrolytes to maintain electrical voltage across their membranes and carry electrical impulses to other cells. Things like water and blood pH depend on your body’s proper electrolyte balance. When you’ve been sweating for a long period of time, even if you’re drinking copious amounts of water, your electrolyte balance can drop, and you can suffer severe medical problems. Replenishing those missing electrolytes can make a huge difference both during and after your workout.
Hot Weather Workout Tips #3: Time Your Workouts To Avoid The Heat! Although it seems obvious, working out during the hottest part of the day is not a good time to exercise. Avoid the mid-day heat by exercising either first thing in the morning, or after sunset. Here in Arizona, our summer evenings are usually still in the 90’s – but without the sun beating down on you, you’ll accomplish far more than you would in 110+ degree, full sun heat. And, you’ll be less likely to get dehydrated as well.
Hot Weather Workout Tips #4: Use Sunscreen! Some people avoid sunscreens while exercising outside, feeling that if they exercise in the shade, early or late in the day, or for shorter periods of time, that they won’t need sunscreen. And, some sunscreens also are greasy, and make you feel like they are holding the heat in, not allowing you to sweat. Instead, you may want to try supplementing with 2-8mg day of astaxanthin, which boosts your body’s natural resistance to the sun. And, there are a number of sunscreens out there that are based on zinc oxide. Mineral, rather than chemical based sunscreens act as a barrier, are natural, and your body isn’t absorbing harmful chemicals. They also may break down slower, providing more effective protection when you’re sweating. Check out this article on natural sunscreens to learn more.
Hot Weather Workout Tips #5: Tricks To Cool Off Quickly! Here’s some simple tricks to help you cool your body down:
- Pour cold water over your forearms – this helps to reduce your body temperature. Try outdoor drinking fountains or public restrooms for a water source.
- Bring a spray bottle. Try filling it half full of ice before you go outside. The cold water mist on your skin, combined with a light breeze, will evaporate quickly, cooling you off.
- Bring a cooling neck wrap or icepack with you and rub on your neck, forearms, groin, and/or armpits.
Hot Weather Workout Tips #6: Exercise In A Group Heat exhaustion can cause you to not only loose clear judgement of your condition, but you can even faint. Exercising with a friend or family member allows you to each keep an eye on the other person, so if heat exhaustion symptoms start to arise, you’re better prepared to stop, hydrate, and cool down before things deteriorate further.
Hot Weather Workout Tips #7: Build Up Your Heat Resistance: Your body can adapt to the heat – over time. So, start with exercising in the heat for just a few minutes at a time. Gradually increase the amount of time as your tolerance builds. Again, signs of increased tolerance include breaking into a sweat more rapidly, and your sweat being more diluted or watery.
If you find that working out in the heat is just miserable, your workouts aren’t as effective as they used to be, or it’s just too hot out ot exercise at all, take your workouts inside. And, Fitness 4 Home Superstore can help you set up your home gym with the industry’s best cardio equipment, strength equipment, and fitness accessories. Stop into any of our three Phoenix area locations today!
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