Tips for Exercising in the Summer Heat
Summer is finally here in Canada, which means we’re no longer forced to keep our workouts indoors. Whether you have taken your workout into your backyard, to a hiking trail, or on a boardwalk, you’ve probably noticed that you’re not performing at your peak in these hot temperatures. This is normal in the warmer months, and though you should consider adjusting your PRs to meet the demands of the weather, there are ways that we can minimize the effect of hot weather on our outdoor workout all while making sure we’re protecting our health—inside and out!
Early risers rejoice: if you’re used to getting and gearing up for a workout in the morning, you’re in luck because by doing so, you’re avoiding the sun when it is most damaging to our skin. Breaking a sweat at sunrise or sunset will also mean you’re avoiding the intense heat that comes when that afternoon sun hits. You’ll also be preventing heat cramps, heat stroke, and even heat exhaustion: serious heat-related medical issues associated with too much heat exposure. If you experience nausea, vomiting, confusion, or a fever after a workout or long day in the sun, be sure to seek drink extra fluids, and consider seeking medical attention.
These conditions are especially a problem when you have not properly hydrated throughout the day, or restored electrolyte levels post-workout. We sweat more when we workout in hot temperatures; and when we sweat, electrolytes are lost along the way. Electrolytes are a group of minerals that carry electrical impulses through our nerves and muscles, and play an important role in hydration, so it’s important to replenish them when exercising outdoors in the summer hear. Though there are some popular electrolyte-containing drinks on the market, they are often full of sugar, which can negatively impact our fitness goals and send our blood sugar on a roller coaster. To replenish lost electrolytes, opt for an electrolyte supplement that can be easily mixed into water to boost hydration.
If you’re finding that you’re a bit more exhausted after a high intensity workout in the sun, you may want to consider taking your workout back inside. Hotter outdoor weather means that the air is thicker, making it more challenging to breathe in more oxygen. But of course, when our hearts and lungs are gasping for air in the middle of a HIIT session, more oxygen is exactly what we need. Invest in a gym or fitness membership over the course of the summer months to reap the benefits of an air-conditioned space so you can recover quicker during your training. And if you’re keen on kicking it outside, opt for shaded areas like hiking trails, or shorelines that have a breeze coming off the ocean or the lake.
You should also consider your workout wear. Opt for loose, light-coloured clothing, which will reflect the light from the sun, in turn, keeping us cooler. On the contrary, dark-coloured clothing will absorb the heat, causing your clothing—and you—to feel hotter when the sun hits. Some fitness companies have also created UV-protective clothing, which will help to ensure your skin is protected from the harmful UV-rays emitted from the sun.
Lastly, don’t forget the great workouts that can be done right on the water. In the ocean or on the lake, you’ll catch a breeze coming off the water, while getting in a workout you can’t do during the winter months. Kayaking, stand-up paddle and swimming are all low-intensity workouts that require less oxygen demand compared to HIIT training but will help to condition muscle strength. But be careful, the sun beams especially strong on the water, so be sure to protect yourself with waterproof sunscreen.
We hope that you found these tips for exercising in the summer heat helpful. We’d love to know how you’re working out during the summer months. Be sure to share your summer workout with us by tagging us at #ReflexNation. And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and Facebook @reflexsupplements.