Summer is rapidly approaching, and with it comes more daylight hours to go outside and get in a workout. It’s a great time of year for athletes, but warmer days also bring a few dangers to athletes who don’t dress or hydrate properly. Here are a few exercise tips to get the most out of your summertime workouts:
- Stay hydrated. Hydration is important for exercise anytime of the year but moreso during the summer months because you sweat more. Failure to properly hydrate can result in heat stroke, heat exhaustion and even death.
- Replace your electrolytes. Electrolytes are the substances that help conduct electrical signals throughout your body. Depleted electrolytes decreases your body’s performance, and sweating drains your electrolyte level. So, it is important to drink electrolyte-rich liquids while working out in the summer. Gatorade is the most popular drink, but e-caps and salt tablets are popular options, too.
- Exercise early in the day. During hot summer months, the later you wait to do a workout, the hotter it will be, so workout early in the mornings, before the planet has time to heat up. If your schedule doesn’t allow for early morning exercise, go in the evenings. Just avoid the hottest part of the day (10:00 AM to 3:00 PM).
- Back down the intensity on really hot days. Excessive heat and humidity can sap your energy, regardless of how well you hydrate. If your energy levels just aren’t there, back off the intensity and duration of your workout, because trying to push through will do more harm than good.
- Wear light, moisture-wicking clothes. Sweating helps cool your body during hot summertime runs, but if the sweat doesn’t evaporate, no cooling occurs. Light, moisture-wicking materials help draw the sweat off of your skin and cools your body.
- Wear a hat and/or oil-free sunscreen. Nobody wants to deal with sunburn or skin cancer, and in summertime, there’s more of a risk because people spend more time outside and the sun is more intense. Protect your exposed skin with sunscreen and a hat to help protect your skin from damage. Make sure you wear oil-free sunscreen, because the oil will clog your pores and prevent you from sweating.
- Workout in the shade. Another way to protect yourself from the sun is to workout on a route or in an area that is well shaded. Shaded routes are also cooler and provide more scenery than the hot sidewalks on a city street.
- Stretch afterwards. Stretching is important after every workout any time of the year, but since your muscles are more pliable in the summer months, take advantage and increase your flexibility and help stave off injury.
A Final Note About Humidity
Heat and humidity are a dangerous combination for athletes, especially at lower altitudes. On hot summer days when you are glistening while standing around, the humidity is so high that sweat is not evaporating, so your sweat isn’t cooling you off. Exercising and raising your body temperature only makes it worse. On days like these, the only thing you can do is back off the intensity and dump water over your head to help keep your body cool.Tweet