5 Fitness Tips to Get You Through Summer
Summer’s here. The sun is shining, the temperature is rising and the days are longer. But if you’ve been exercising in the cooler winter and spring temperatures, the hot and humid 80+ degree days might seem a bit daunting. Whether you’re running, biking, hiking, or even just walking, workouts can feel much harder in this kind of heat. But don’t sweat it, we’ve got you covered. Here are 5 fitness tips to get you through summer.
1. Stay Hydrated
You’ve probably heard this a million times but it bears repeating: staying hydrated is crucial when you’re sweating in the hot summer sun. Think of your body like a well-oiled machine. If it runs out of oil, it overheats. Water is your body’s oil, and without it, you risk dehydration. So, make sure to sip water throughout the day, not just during your workout. If you’re not a big fan of plain water, try adding a slice of lemon or cucumber for a refreshing twist.
2. Wear Lighter Clothing
When it comes to summer workouts, your clothing can make a huge difference. Opt for lightweight, breathable, wicking clothes. They pull moisture away from your skin and makes you feel cooler. A good hat can also protect your head and face from the hot sun. If you need some options, here are some choices.
3. Try The Water
Water workouts aren’t just for those with joint problems. They are a fantastic way to change up your regular routine while staying cool. Swimming laps, water aerobics, or even just walking in the pool can provide a great workout without the sweat.
4. Slow Down
If your goal is a 30-minute workout, there’s no need to go full throttle the entire time. Move with less intensity or do intervals to avoid overheating. And remember, it’s perfectly okay to take breaks. Listen to your body and slow down when you need to.
5. Get Indoors
If the heat is just too much, take your workout indoors. This could be a great opportunity to try out a monthly membership at an air-conditioned gym. If gyms aren’t your scene, or if it’s not in the budget, you can still get a great workout at home. Try following along with fitness DVDs, jumping rope, running up and down your stairs, or doing strength training routines.
Recognizing and Handling Heat Exhaustion
Heat exhaustion is a heat-related illness that can occur when you’ve been exercising in high temperatures, especially if you’re not properly hydrated. It’s not as serious as heat stroke, but it can quickly progress to that if not treated promptly. So, it’s important to know the signs and take action quickly.
Signs of Heat Exhaustion
- Dark-colored urine (a sign of dehydration)
- Muscle or abdominal cramps
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Pale skin
- Profuse sweating
- Rapid heartbeat
If you or anyone else exhibits these symptoms, it’s crucial to get out of the heat and rest immediately, preferably in an air-conditioned room. If you can’t get inside, find a cool, shady place to rest. Drink plenty of fluids, remove any tight or unnecessary clothing, take a cool shower if possible, and apply other cooling measures like fans or ice towels. If there’s no relief within 15 minutes, seek emergency medical help.
Remember, staying fit and healthy during the summer is a balance. With these tips in mind, you can beat the heat and enjoy your summer workouts safely.
| Summer Fitness Tips | Description |
| — | — |
| Stay Hydrated | Drink plenty of fluids as sweating in the hot sun can cause dehydration |
| Wear Lighter Clothing | Opt for lightweight, breathable, wicking clothes to help keep you cooler |
| Try The Water | Water workouts can help keep you cool and give your muscles a change-up |
| Slow Down | Avoid overheating by moving with less intensity or doing intervals. It’s okay to take breaks |
| Get Indoors | Take advantage of an air-conditioned gym or do workouts at home |
| Signs of Heat Exhaustion | Actions to Take |
| — | — |
| Confusion, Dark-colored urine, Dizziness, Fainting, Fatigue, Headache, Muscle or abdominal cramps, Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, Pale skin, Profuse sweating, Rapid heartbeat | Get out of the heat and rest, preferably in an air-conditioned room, drink plenty of fluid, remove any tight or unnecessary clothing, take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath, apply other cooling measures such as fans or ice towels. If symptoms persist, seek medical help. |
Going Deeper into Summer Fitness: More Tips and Strategies
Let’s delve deeper into summer fitness and explore more strategies to keep you cool, energized, and motivated throughout the sweltering season. With the right knowledge and practices, you can turn the summer heat from a deterrent into a motivator for your fitness journey.
1. Understanding the Importance of Hydration
As highlighted before, hydration is key. But why is it so important? When you sweat, your body loses water and electrolytes, which are vital for normal bodily functions. If not adequately replaced, this can lead to dehydration, causing symptoms like dizziness, fatigue, and even fainting. Hence, maintaining an optimal level of hydration helps you perform better and reduces the risk of heat-related illnesses. In addition to water, consider consuming sports drinks that can replenish the electrolytes lost through sweat.
2. Choosing the Right Summer Workout Gear
While light, breathable clothing is essential, there’s more to summer workout gear than just clothes. Consider investing in a good pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. Also, a quality sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 is a must to shield your skin from the sun’s damaging effects. Lastly, don’t forget about your feet. A pair of breathable, well-cushioned shoes can make your workout more comfortable and prevent conditions like athlete’s foot, which thrives in warm, moist environments.
3. Exploring the Benefits of Water Workouts
Apart from keeping you cool, water workouts offer many benefits. The buoyancy of water reduces the impact on your joints, making it an excellent option for those with joint pain or injuries. Moreover, water provides resistance, which can help improve strength and endurance. It’s also a fun way to break the monotony of traditional workouts!
4. Listening to Your Body
When it’s hot out, it’s particularly important to listen to your body. If you feel lightheaded, dizzy, or nauseous, it’s time to take a break. Pushing through these warning signs can lead to heat-related illnesses. Remember, it’s not a sign of weakness to take breaks; it’s a sign of smart training.
5. Embracing Indoor Workouts
Indoor workouts can be equally effective, and there’s a variety of options available. From high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to yoga, pilates, and strength training, there’s something for everyone. If you prefer guided workouts, online platforms offer numerous workout videos for all fitness levels.
Frequently Asked Questions about Summer Fitness
1. What’s the best time of day to exercise in the summer?
Early morning or late evening, when temperatures are cooler, are the best times to exercise in the summer. Avoid peak sun intensity hours, usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
2. How much should I hydrate during summer workouts?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer as it depends on the intensity of your workout, the weather, and your body. However, a good rule of thumb is to drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water per day. During workouts, aim to consume 7-10 ounces of fluid every 10-20 minutes.
3. Can I still run outside in the summer?
Yes, but take precautions. Run in the early morning or late evening, wear appropriate clothing, apply sunscreen, and stay hydrated. Listen to your body and slow down or stop if you feel unwell.
Summer workouts can be challenging, but with the right strategies, you can stay fit, healthy, and safe. Remember to hydrate, choose appropriate workout gear, try water workouts, listen to your body, and don’t shy away from indoor workouts. By understanding and respecting the summer heat, you can make it your ally in your fitness journey.
What should I drink to stay hydrated during my summer workout?
Water is the best choice to keep your body hydrated. However, if you are exercising for more than an hour, you might want to consider a drink with electrolytes, such as a sports drink, to replace the sodium, potassium, and other minerals your body loses through sweat. Avoid alcohol and caffeine as they can actually dehydrate you.
What kind of clothing should I wear for a summer workout?
Choose lightweight, breathable, and wicking clothes. These types of clothing pull moisture away from your skin and help you feel cooler. Also, a good hat can protect your head and face from the sun.
Are water workouts effective?
Yes, water workouts can be very effective. They provide resistance, which can help strengthen your muscles, and the water cools you off at the same time. Activities such as swimming laps, water aerobics, or even just walking in the pool can provide a great workout.
Do I need to change the intensity of my workout during summer?
Yes, you might need to adjust the intensity of your workout during summer to avoid overheating. It’s okay to slow down, move with less intensity or do intervals. Remember to listen to your body and take breaks when needed.
What are the signs of heat exhaustion?
Signs of heat exhaustion include confusion, dark-colored urine (a sign of dehydration), dizziness, fainting, fatigue, headache, muscle or abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, pale skin, profuse sweating, and rapid heartbeat. If you exhibit these symptoms, you should seek medical help immediately.
What can I do if I can’t workout outside because of the heat?
If the heat is too much for you to handle, consider moving your workout indoors. You can try out a monthly membership at an air-conditioned gym, follow along with fitness DVDs at home, or do strength training routines. The important thing is to keep moving and stay active.