Exercise is really important to keep up, but if you’re not well prepared, you could end up injuring yourself or making yourself ill. Here are the 4 most important things to remember when exercising in the summer heat to make sure you stay safe and healthy.
When it’s hot outside, your body needs more energy to work, not only by using your body water for a little power but sweating out lots of water to keep our bodies cool and at the optimal temperature. This means in hot weather, you’ll be burning more energy, and losing more water, and so topping it up regularly is essential for exercising.
Not drinking enough water leaves you at serious risk of dehydration, heatstroke, exhaustion, hyperthermia, and many other issues, which may damage your body. In order to stay healthy, make sure you take a bottle of water with you while you exercise to stay hydrated and avoid greater health risks.
Although 80% of your water intake should come from drinking, 20% should come from the food you eat. This means that stocking up on water-abundant foods, such as lettuce, watermelon, and broccoli, will make sure you remain healthy and prevent yourself from getting dehydrated.
Get the Right Amount and Quality of Sleep
Not only is it important to get the right amount of sleep, but it’s important to make sure that sleep is good quality, too. Getting good sleep is not only important for day-to-day functioning, but it means you’ll wake up rested and energized, ready for your exercise session. Exercising while fatigued not only means you won’t get what you want out of your exercise session, but it also means you’re more likely to damage your body since it hasn’t had enough time to regenerate and heal.
If your sleep isn’t good quality, there may be several reasons. Perhaps you’re going to sleep too late, and offsetting your cycle; perhaps you’ve not allowed time to wind down for the evening. One of the most common issues is the wrong mattress, which may be so uncomfortable you can’t sleep properly, or may even wake up with aches and pains. A cooling mattress may be best in the summer – the best cooling mattresses are breathable as well as comfortable, giving you the best night’s sleep to prepare you for the next day, no matter the weather.
Wear the Right Outfit
It’s always important to wear the right things when exercising – comfortable shoes, for example, are essential to make sure you don’t damage your feet and can exercise efficiently. Dressing right is even more important in hot weather, as clothing can protect you from the heat and help prevent any issues it may cause. The biggest issue in the summer is sweating – you want to make sure that your body is able to sweat, but that it doesn’t end up chafing you or being uncomfortable.
One of the best options for dealing with sweat is using sweat-wicking fabric in your clothing. Sweat-wicking clothing keeps you dry from sweat, so you’re still comfortable, without losing any sort of breathability. Their relaxed fit is optimized for comfort and means you won’t end up drenched in sweat, or with any uncomfortable friction burns that sweat might make worse. Look online for some great options if you are looking to stay sweat-free during your workout.
The key to anything is planning. If you know the weather will be hot tomorrow, be prepared – which times of the day are hotter than others? Perhaps it’s boiling in the morning, but cool in the evening – try to plan your work out for the evening, even if it’s not within your usual routine. If you do a longer work out, you could even split this into smaller chunks to make it easier to manage – doing too much in such hot temperatures can lead to overexertion.
It’s also worth asking if you should tone down your workout for the day. If the temperatures are particularly hot, then exercising despite that may damage your body and could even put you out of action for future workouts. This is particularly relevant if you work out in clothing that doesn’t go well with the heat, such as helmets or specific outfits. Either reducing the length of your session or reducing the intensity of your session (for example, going from running to a light jog or brisk walk), are great ways to make sure your body takes less of the impact from the heat and is still in the right state to exercise and function well throughout the day.
Exercising in the summer heat has its extra challenges, but a little preparation goes a long way in making sure you get enough out of your workout without damaging your body or creating health risks.