Tips for staying healthy and hydrated during summer workouts.
While summer may be the perfect time to take your workout outdoors, the summer heat can be a problem particularly in areas with extreme heat and humidity. Exercising in warm weather can be dangerous. It’s important to take care and listen to your body. Check out our tips for working out in the heat.
Summer is the perfect time to go outside and have fun. It’s one of my favorite times of year because there are so many outdoor activities to choose from. Everything is more fun outside, whether you’re swimming, running or cycling.
It’s important to not wait until you’re thirsty to stop for a water break. Once your start thinking about a nice, cold glass of water, you’re most likely already slightly dehydrated. Start hydrating yourself about 2-3 hours before you workout, aim to drink 17 to 20 ounces of water. During your workout, especially on extremely hot days, try to drink 7 to 10 ounce of water every 15 to 20 minutes. Most people don’t realize that you still sweat when you’re doing water activities like swimming or surfing, so be sure to have a bottle of water nearby.
2. Listen to Your Body
It’s important to listen to your body. If halfway through your run or workout, you are struggling to breathe or perform as well as you typically do, chances are you’re not having an off day, but rather it’s a sign of heat exhaustion. While the temperature may only read 80 degree, in some areas high humidity can make it feel well over 100. Humidity of 60% or more disrupts your body’s ability to sweat and cool itself. Know the warning signs of heat exhaustion and don’t push yourself.
Signs of Heat Exhaustion:
- Dark Colored Urine
- Muscle/Abdominal Cramping
- Profuse Sweating
- Rapid Heartbeat
- Pale Skin
3. Avoid Protein Pre-Workout
Research shows that too much protein prior to a workout may cause your body temperature to rise, which will make you feel even hotter. Instead focus on hydrating before your summer work and save the muscle building protein for after.
- Time of Day is Important- Avoid working out outdoors from 10 a.m. to 3p.m, as it’s generally the hottest part of the day. Early morning is typically the best time to exercise on a hot day.
- Check the Weather Forecast- Base your workout off of the weather forecast. If there’s a heat advisory, you may want to take your workout indoors.
- Wear Loose, Light-Colored Clothing- Lighter colored clothing will help reflect heat, while materials like cotton will help evaporate sweat. Also try specially designed, “hi-tech” running gear, as they are designed to keep you cool.