Summer is the season you exercise for, but now that it’s here, how do you keep your fitness routine in check without collapsing from the heat? Here’s how to stay cool and in shape during those hot summer months.
Photo by kk+.
Ever wonder why it’s so hard to keep exercising in the heat? Instead of blood going to the muscles, the body diverts it to the skin instead to keep it cool. As a result, it becomes harder and harder to exercise during the summer.
It’s important to take precautions when working out during the summer. Things like staying hydrated, applying sunscreen, and wearing light clothing become more important. NOTE: If for any reason you feel like you are getting faint, or your body temperature is rising too fast during your workout, stop. If you have trouble regularly, consult your doctor.
With that out of the way, here are a few tips on how to avoid the heat and stay in shape throughout the summer below.
Drink a Slushie to Keep Going
Photo by avlxyz.
To extend your endurance during your workouts and to stay cool, drink an ice slushie before your exercise routine. While this may seem like common sense, a New Zealand study concluded that drinking an ice slushie before exercising increases endurance by an average of 10 minutes.
All you have to do is drink an ice slurry, also known as a slushie, before exercising. In a new study, he reports that young male recreational athletes who drank a syrup-flavored ice slurry just before running on a treadmill in [a] hot room could keep going for an average of 50 minutes before they had to stop. When they drank only syrup-flavored cold water, they could run for an average of 40 minutes.
Keep Your Body Correctly Hydrated
It’s very important to stay correctly hydrated, and it’s easy to do so with a simple formula. Ideally, you should start drinking water or other liquids at least 15 minutes before exercising. For every 20 minutes spent working out, eight ounces of water should be consumed. This is where water loss during exercising comes into play—therefore, weigh yourself before and after your workout. Theoretically, for every pound you’ve lost, you should drink 16 ounces of water. And while we’re talking hydration, be sure to avoid the myths. Photo by Oslo in the Summertime.
Pick Up the Right Sport
Some sports become more popular in the summer as a way to stay cool. If you’re near a body of water, water sports like surfing, swimming, and diving allow you to stay cool under water’s refreshing and cooling properties while still keeping you outdoors.
Summer’s also a great time to learn a more off-beat, off-season indoor sport like ice hockey, speed skating, and figure skating. These winter sports always require a cold temperature to keep the ice frozen, so you’ll have no problem beating the heat by finding an indoor rink.
Take Your Exercise Indoors
It’s great to take your workouts outdoors, but when the temperature gets a bit too high, the easiest way to avoid the heat is to stay inside altogether. Synonymous with air conditioning, gyms provide a good way to skip the heat. Gyms become overly packed in the summer for this reason, but if you can, try sticking to off-peak gym times to avoid the massive influx of people trying to stay in shape. People most often tend to hit the gym in the early morning or evening, right before or after work.
Avoid the Sun When It’s Strongest
While we recommended that you head inside earlier, where there is likely to be air-conditioning, the thought of being surrounded by sweaty people in a claustrophobic exercise room doesn’t appeal to some people. There’s still nothing that beats fresh cool air, combined with a daily jog.
Photo by darkpatator.
If it’s possible, try avoiding exercise when the sun is at its strongest, in the middle of the day (between around 10am and 4pm). Instead, opt for some exercise in the early morning or late evening, when it’s most likely to be cool out. In some places around the country, depending on how hot it gets, it’s not odd to see people briskly jogging in the wee hours of the morning or closer to midnight.
Exercise in Short, Regular Bursts Outside
The heat can be oppressive, but another option to stay outside is to exercise is short bursts throughout the day instead of in one long, concentrated stretch. Instead of exercising outside for an hour, try exercising in four 15-minute segments throughout the day. As long as you’re exercising at your target heart rate, the quality of your exercise regimen should not suffer. This method allows you to exercise outside, without putting you in the sun for long periods of time, and reduces the risk of heat stroke.
How do you beat the heat and maintain that beach body for the summer? If you’ve got any tips to cool down, sound off in the comments below.