We know that summer is a great time to get outside and exercise especially if improving your fitness is one of your goals for the new year.
We have seen in recent weeks how quickly the temperatures can soar (did it really get to 46 degrees?!) but we don’t want to use the heat as an excuse. The key to exercising safely is to be careful and take precautions
Exercise Early, Late or Indoors
When the sun is shining, heading outdoors might be inviting to go for a run or bike ride but in extreme heat an indoor option is a better choice. Sweating it out in an air-conditioned gym, like enerG+, or going for a swim at the local indoor pool are great options.
However if you do prefer to exercise outdoors, head out early in the morning or late in the evening and avoid the hottest part of the day. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and schedule your exercise ahead of time. Adjust workout intensity by being a little less vigorous, stay out of the direct sun and take frequent breaks. Wear a shirt, hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.
It might even be better to concentrate on toning exercises like early morning pilates, yoga or some light weights rather than a full on workout.
Hydration is so important
When it comes to staying hydrated, there's more to it than just drinking water during exercise. It’s important to drink enough water at the end of the day to re-hydrate yourself for the following day.
Drink two to three litres of water each day, even if you don't feel thirsty. It is recommended to add at least a 1 litre for every hour of exercise you do. However when it is super hot, you probably want to have more than that! Carry water with you and drink often while exercising.
When the heat is on you need to keep your body temperature down. Take a spray bottle with water with you and keep spritzing yourself when you are hot. Pour cool water over your head and face whenever you can and have a cold shower post-workout to take the edge of your body heat.
Wear loose, light clothing
Lycra or compression tights might look the part and be comfortable, when it's hot you're better off choosing loose, lightweight clothing and cotton material will also help the evaporation of sweat. If you're outside, light-coloured clothing will also reflect heat and sunlight.
Listen to your body
As we start out the new year, we know that you are keen to stick to your exercise routine but there is no harm in modifying your plans to accommodate the weather and how your body feels.
Listen to your body. Moderate your exercise intensity, slow down and take regular rest breaks. If you feel dizzy, nauseous, have muscle cramps or feeling like being sick STOP exercising and if you are outside, get into the shade as soon as you can.
When you are exercising you are trying to be healthier and fitter. Part of being healthier is making sure you are making healthy choices in how you're exercising.