By: Emma Lawson
Summer temperatures seem to be higher than ever, and all we want to do is to sit back in an air-conditioned room until the sun is completely down. That can be a huge problem for our exercise routine, though. With such hellish weather nobody wants to go outside for a run, let alone sweat while doing aerobics. Summer is also the worse time to gain weight, since you will, at some point, show off your body on a beach. So, how to do the impossible and be fit on this unbearable heat? Here are a few tips.
The sweating caused by exercising is even worse when you are exposed to high temperatures and it is very important to be properly hydrated. Ideally, you should drink water at least 15 minutes before a workout, and then consume 8 ounces (1.5 glasses) of water for every 20 minutes of exercising. Do not rely on the mere feeling of thirst to determine when you need to refill. You can choose to drink other liquids (e.g. sports drinks) too, but water is your best and healthiest option.
Drinking sufficient water is only one step in the process of preventing exercise induced dehydration. Avoid beverages that contain caffeine (tea, soft drinks, coffee, etc.) and alcohol, since they can drain your body. Also, do not use steam rooms, hot tubs and saunas right after exercising. Lightweight loose-fitting clothes should help you feel more comfortable, because they allow evaporation.
Not all sports will make you sweat and breathe heavily. Some might even cool you down. Water sports like swimming, diving and surfing will refresh you while burning your calories. In fact, 30 minutes of swimming can torch between 200 and 450 calories. You can also opt for some off-season indoor sports like figure skating, speed skating and ice hockey.
Take an Evening Run
Unlike afternoons, summer evenings can be very pleasant, with sufficiently lower temperatures and light breeze. Instead of running in the middle of the day or even in the morning (the sun can be very strong unless you start your training at dawn), go jogging in the evenings. Just be sure you take all the precautionary measures when it comes to safety. Use bright reflective clothing tape to make yourself highly visible to drivers and make sure you have comfortable runner shoes.
Staying indoors is sometimes the best option, but that does not mean you have to be lazy. Most of the gyms (if not all) are air-conditioned, so it can be quite comfortable to work out. If you have a cooling device in your home, you can opt for some exercising program adapted to workout-at-home conditions, crank up the air-conditioning, and get moving.
Exercise in Short Bursts
Heat can be very oppressive, so it is difficult to exercise in one long concentrated stretch. Another option is to workout in several short bursts throughout the day. If your exercise routine requires one hour of being active, try to split it into four equal segments so that the quality of your exercise doesn’t suffer. This method prevents you from being on the harsh sun for too long and thus reduces the risk of a heat stroke.
The most important advice you can get is to avoid the sun when it is strongest (between 10am and 4pm). Take all the necessary precautionary measures, like drinking water, applying sunscreen (half an hour before you go outside), and wearing light clothes. If for any reason you feel dizzy, or that your body temperature is rising too quickly, it is better to stop and try another day.