Summer offers great opportunities to change your exercise routine by taking it outside. That said, beating the rising temperatures can be a challenge! But you don’t have to let that stop you. Being a Southern-California based company, we’ve learned a few tricks about exercising outdoors when it’s hot out. Here are some of our favorite summer workout tips:Wear the right clothes.
Let’s be honest – there’s nothing worse than workout clothes that make you feel hot, sweaty, and disgusting. Well, except for chaffing. That’s worse. What you wear during your workout has the potential of adding to your discomfort or helping you not feel the heat as much. Here are a few criteria for heat-beating outfits:
- Light-colored clothing will reflect sun and heat away from your body.
- Aim for high-performance, moisture-wicking fabrics and avoid cotton.
- Pick clothes that aren’t too tight or too loose to avoid chaffing.
- Wear spandex under loose clothes if you’re really prone to chaffing.
It can take a while to get used to hotter temperatures. Reduce the length of your workouts to start with, and slowly build back up as your body acclimates to the heat. Another way to help your body do this is by starting off cold. A cold shower, a dash through the sprinkler, an ice pack on the back of your neck – all these are ways to help your endurance in the heat1.Replenish your body.
After a hot, exhausting workout, it isn’t likely you’ll be feeling like eating much. However, because you’re expending more energy when it’s hot out, it’s actually more important to replenish your body than when it’s cooler out. You don’t have to eat much, but try and have something within 30 minutes of getting back from your workout to refuel.
Time it right.
If you’re committed to your outdoor workout, it’s important you time it right. In most places, the hottest part of the day happens between 3pm and 6pm2, which means your after work workout might not be the best idea. Make it a priority to get outside early before the sun gets too hot and makes your workout miserable.
Creatively stay hydrated.
When it’s hot out, you sweat more. When you sweat more, you’re more prone to dehydration. During the summer months, you may have to put more intention into staying hydrated. How do you know how much to drink? A good starting point is half your body weight in ounces every day (if you weigh 150 pounds, that’s 75 ounces of water). A few other tips:
- Avoid drinking diuretics such as coffee or tea right before you exercise.
- While you’re working out, take a few sips every 15-20 minutes3.
- Keep your electrolytes replenished with sports drinks.
- Eat fruit. They’re more than 80% water, plus will help give you energy with the carbs.
Ok, not completely. But sun damage is a real risk to your skin. Wear a good, water- and sweat-proof sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher). If you have a very fair complexion, consider finding lightweight, long-sleeved clothes. You can even find clothes with SPF built into them. Getting a hat or visor to keep the sun off your face and out of your eyes is a good idea, too.
Find new locations.
Asphalt gets really, really hot in the sun and radiates heat back at you. Find paths made out of gravel or dirt to help prevent this. If you will be on pavement, think about the direction of the sun when you’re going to be out and find routes that will be out of direct sunlight and stick to the shady side of the road.
Another place to try is the lake or river for a water workout. While it might not be in your normal routine, water workouts are actually really good for you and have the awesome added benefit of keeping you cool while it’s hot out.
Finally, the most important summer workout tip is learning to recognize when it’s time to go inside. Heat exhaustion can be dangerous and lead to heat stroke. It’s important you know how to spot the symptoms in yourself and others. Here are a few symptoms4 indicating you might need to take a break and head inside:
- Feeling nauseous or vomiting
- Cold, clammy skin
- Visual problems
- Muscle cramps
- Heart rhythm issues
Play it smart, and there’s no need to fear exercising outdoors even in the heat. Following these seven tried-and-true summer workout tips will keep you safe, and will help you enjoy your workouts all summer long.