The summer heat can be brutal, and exercising in hot weather can be pretty unappealing. But if you have an exercise plan to reach your goal, you’ll want to stick to it.

But training in hot weather can stress your body, so you need to understand how to do it safely. So, in this article, we’ll give you our top tips for exercising in hot weather.

How Does Training In Heat Affect Your Body?

Humidity and air temperature can raise your body’s core temperature when exercising. To counter this, your body circulates more blood to help cool itself down.

The problem with this is that less blood goes to your muscles, which increases your heart rate. Also, humid weather doesn’t allow your sweat to evaporate from your skin very quickly. This can lead to heat exhaustion, dehydration, or heat stroke. 

So what can you do?

Our Top Tips For Exercising In Hot Weather

1. Don’t Exercise During The Hottest Part Of The Day

The best times to exercise in the summer are early in the morning and late in the day. This is because the temperatures are generally at their highest between 11am and 3pm.

Avoiding the hottest part of the day will allow you to train more comfortably and effectively. It is also much safer, as you stand less chance of overheating your core.

2. Keep Your Fluids Topped Up

When training in hot weather, you must hydrate before and during your workout. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty; keep your fluids topped up to help your body control its temperature.

Avoid salt tablets, as they can promote dehydration. Also, avoid extremely cold water, as it can cause stomach cramps. It’s best to stay away from alcohol, caffeine, and sugary drinks, as they can actually cause you to lose fluids.

3. Wear Sunscreen

Sunburn can be painful, but it also reduces your body’s ability to cool down. So, apply sunscreen with at least an SPF 30 every two hours to stay safe.

4. Dress For The Occasion

When dressing to exercise in high temperatures, you must dress appropriately. Don’t be tempted to throw on an old cotton t-shirt.

Instead, lightweight and breathable clothing is best for exercising in hot weather. Choose clothing made from technical fabrics, such as polyester, nylon, and Lycra, that wicks sweat away from your skin.

You may also benefit from choosing light-coloured clothing. Light colours reflect heat more effectively than dark colours, helping you to stay cooler.

5. Don’t Push It Too Far

Exercising in hot weather requires you to be realistic about your abilities and fitness. If you’re not in great condition or not used to exercising in hot weather, listen to your body.

If you start to feel dizzy, sick, or tired, take a rest in the shade or call it a day. It’s also essential to give your body time to rest between workouts. There’s no point in making yourself ill and jeopardizing your fitness and workout goals.

6. Replenish Your Electrolytes

Siping a sports drink after exercising in hot weather will put the electrolytes you’ve lost back into your body. They also replenish minerals and salts while rehydrating you. It’s best to choose a low-calorie sports drink, as it will have less sugar.

7. Modify Your Workout Plan For Exercising In Hot Weather

Exercising in hot weather may require you to modify your usual workout plan. For example, if your plan includes interval training, you’d benefit from increasing your rest breaks.

When it comes to increasing the intensity and lengths of your outside workouts, do it gradually. Doing so will allow you to keep tabs on how far you can push yourself without going too hard.

8. Hit The Pool

Swimming is a great way to exercise in hot weather. You can stay relatively cool while getting a full body workout. Remember to wear waterproof sunscreen if you’re swimming in an outdoor pool or lake.

9. Go To The Gym

Even if the gym isn’t air conditioned, it can be beneficial to get out of the sun when you’re exercising. A lunchtime workout in the gym is a lot more pleasant and safer than under the beating sun.

However, you still need to be sufficiently hydrated when working out in the gym.

10. Check The Weather Report Before Exercising In Hot Weather

Before you slip on your running shoes, check out the weather report. If the temperature is high, it’s best to dial back your workout or wait until it cools down. If you plan on doing a workout that you’d typically find easy, you could be surprised by how intense and dangerous it feels on a hot day.

People affected more by exercising in hot weather include people with larger bodies, the elderly, kids and those new to exercise.

Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke

As we’ve already mentioned, exercising in hot weather can cause heat exhaustion and heat stroke. But what are the symptoms?

Heat exhaustion is less severe than heat stroke. You can show signs of heat exhaustion over several days of being exposed to high temperatures, especially if you haven’t topped up your fluids.

Signs of heat exhaustion include:

  • Heavy sweating 
  • Muscle cramps 
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness 
  • Dizziness 
  • Headache
  • Fainting
  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • Dark urine
  • Cool, moist skin

If you get heat exhaustion and leave it untreated, it may worsen to a point where you get heat stroke. Heat stroke is more serious, and your body temperature can rise to 40 degrees Celcius within 10 to 15 minutes.

Symptoms of heat stroke include:

  • Dry, hot skin (no sweating)
  • Rapid, weak pulse
  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness

Call the emergency services immediately if you see someone with any warning signs of heat stroke. You should then try to cool them down by placing them in the shade and bringing their body temperature down with cool water. According to the Mayo Clinic, the quicker you can receive cold water immersion, the better,

Final Thoughts On Exercising In Hot Weather

The key things with exercising in hot weather are to prepare for the heat or avoid it and to know your limits. There’s nothing wrong with missing a workout if it’s going to be bad for you. It’s better to stay safe than put yourself at risk.

Contact us if you want more information on exercising in hot weather or a modified training plan.

 


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