Swimming, BBQ, and late nights. Summer is almost here! Many of us have worked hard to get a “beach” body. Some are taking a break from their respective sport. Some are still in training mode. Whatever your all-over workout status is right now, Summer changes how we work out. With the higher temperatures, it’s time to re-think training.
The other day while slogging my way through a run in 80 something degrees with higher humidity, I started thinking about ways to keep myself cooler, and safer, over the next few months. And as my mind started going off thinking about that, I started thinking about some tips to share. I would say most of these are pretty common sense, but I haven’t really written anything for a while, and a reminder is always nice! This is more directed toward those that do their workouts outside, like running, biking, hiking, etc. If you’re indoors, you’re in a little bit better environment as far as temperature and climate are concerned. If you’re newer to the fit life, I really hope some of these help you out!
- Always always always have water available. If you can’t carry some with you, leave a bottle or two along your route. If you can’t do that, make sure there’s a water fountain or something you can drink from. The heat will get to you, and you’re going to need that water.
- Wear comfortable clothes that breathe AND wick moisture. Cotton is great during summer for running errands, but if you’re outside in the heat, it’s going to impact your performance. If you haven’t already, it’s time to invest in workout clothes that are light and will help keep you cool. Cotton and other fabrics will soak up the sweat, not only weighing you down, but making it harder for your body to cool down.
Here’s a pretty good example. In the first picture, it wasn’t that hot, maybe 78/79, but there was 90% humidity. If your clothes show this much sweat after you work out, it may be better to save it for a cooler day. The picture on the right is a good example of how you feel when your clothes let you cool off!
- If you live in a humid climate, make sure you have a way to cool down. The humidity makes it harder for your sweat to dry, which means it’s can’t do it’s job of cooling you down, putting you at a higher risk of your body over-heating. Take a break, or two, or three if you need to. Run through that sprinkler. Bring a towel to wipe your forehead. Walk when you reach shade. Whatever you need to do, do it.
- Always wear sunscreen, even if you’re just doing a “quick” run. Your skin will thank you! Bug repellent is a good idea too.
- Now might be a good time to adjust your workout schedule. You may have to start getting up early to work out while it’s cooler, or wait until it’s night time. If it’s really bad out, you might have to take your workout indoors. If you HAVE to workout in the heat of the day, cut it shorter, or make sure you have a way to stay cool.
- Take your workout to the pool! I’m not a very good swimmer, so it only takes me a few laps before I feel exhausted. Swimming is a great all-over workout that doesn’t take any special equipment.
- If you’re out at night, make sure to take proper precautions. Make sure you can be seen!
- Smoothies and chocolate milk are amazing post-workout. They give you the nutrients your body needs and they will help cool you down! Make sure to re hydrate. Keep drinks with electrolytes on hand. If you feel really crappy, I swear, eating a pickle or drinking some pickle juice will help perk you back up.
- If you’re kids are with you, in a stroller, on a bike, whatever, make sure they have plenty of water and rest breaks too!
- If you’re walking or running with your dog, make sure the pavement isn’t too hot for their paws. If you can’t be barefoot without getting burned, it’s too hot for them too. Make sure to have water for them as well.
- As I experienced last year, sweat and humidity makes your skin softer, making it easier to blister and tear. Lifting weights and day-to-day physical labor may make your hands more susceptible to tearing, so do what you canto protect your hands, because that hurts and impacts your daily life!
So, say you’re out there and you start feeling crappy. How do you know when you need to stop? A few things to watch out for are headache, dizziness, nausea, and muscle cramps. If you start experiencing any of these, stop what you’re doing and do what you can to cool yourself down. If things progress, you could be in risk of heat stroke, which requires medical attention. If you’re even unsure if you or someone else is experiencing heat stroke, it’s probably a good idea to get checked out.
I hope this gives some of you a few ideas. If you have more to add to the list, feel free to let me know! Comment below, or check out my contact page. I hope y’all have a great summer and stay safe!