Exercising in the summer heat

It has been a year of extreme temperatures. It wasn’t all that long ago that we were talking about ways to exercise and stay fit during long cold spells and now we are in the midst of one of the longest hot spells most of us can ever remember. How can we cope with getting around day to day in the heatwave, let alone exercise!?

Actually, it is easier than you think. Following on from our tips on exercising in winter, this month we focus on how to do so in the summer so you should have no excuses for not being ready to unveil that toned beach body on your holiday.

Get outside

Summer is one of the best times to stay fit – there is just so much that you can do. Warmer temperatures mean that outdoor swimming is possible and you can make the most of any lidos or lakes near you, or if you are really lucky you could be close to the sea. Also look out for any local tennis courts or hockey pitches if that’s what you enjoy, or make the most of local parks for some cricket or rounders with friends. If you enjoy running you should have plenty of parks to choose from as well, or you could even go outside for your regular workout or yoga practice.

Cool gym

Having said that, if the gym is your preferred place even better as it will be temperature controlled and much cooler than outdoors, allowing you to work out at any time of the day.

Things to look out for

High temperatures and humidity can affect our body at any time and even more so when we demand more from it by exercising. Here are our top tips for a successful summer workout:

  • Stay hydrated. Probably the most important thing to keep in mind. As you sweat your body loses salt and electrolytes which are crucial for keeping it healthy and working properly. Drink plenty of water both during and particularly after your workout. Once you have finished you should also replace lost electrolytes. Don’t undo all the good work you have done by picking up an energy drink packed with sugar through – choose carefully.
  • Time of day. You will be able to do more and your body will thank you if you exercise during cooler times of the day. The morning is usually best, but if that isn’t possible wait until later in the evening. Avoid the hottest part of the day between 10am and 3pm – you will suffer!
  • Keep your clothing loose and light-coloured. Light materials will avoid sweat building up and sticking to your skin. Choose loose cotton clothes or go for hi-tech materials designed to wick sweat away from your body. Light-coloured clothing will also reflect the heat, helping with sweat evaporation.
  • Sunscreen. A must whether the sun is blazing or there is some cloud cover – you can still burn without realising it. Choose a sunscreen that has a high protection factor and is designed for sports.
  • Pick a shady spot. Whatever form of exercise you are doing, do it in a shadier spot and out of the hot sun. Run on shadier trails or paths and practise your yoga or HIIT session under a tree.

There is no reason for avoiding exercise in the heat – just be mindful of when you do it and what your body is telling you. If you feel dizzy, faint, or nauseous then stop immediately. For more summer exercise tips or for a tailored fitness programme give us a call at Valkyrie Personal Training and Massage on 07973 483314 and we’ll get you fit in no time.


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