When the weather gets warmer, I like to migrate my workout outside. I love feeling the sun while hiking or gentle breeze while running through the city's numerous trails. And while working out in the summer is fun, the heat can also be dangerous. Here are five tips to a safe and effective sweat session under the sun.
This is the most important tip of this list. Our bodies lose water, electrolytes and salt as we sweat, and if we don't hydrate properly, we can dehydrate quickly. So hydrate. And hydrate again. Be careful not to overhydrate, which Remember to also replenish those electrolytes as your body needs a balance of electrolytes and water to perform at its best.
Choose Appropriate Clothing
I'm guilty of not doing this. I usually workout in dark clothes, not because I choose to, but it's all I have (I seriously need more color in my closet :O). Choose light-colored and cotton clothes to reflect light and wick sweat. The good thing is that most designers will develop clothing made of cooling material so you don't overheat during a run or pilates (or pie + lattes) session.
Wearing sunscreen is a good everyday practice, but it is very important while working out. I recommend going with at least an SPF 30, but it's probably good practice to use a higher SPF. Remember that you can suffer sun damage through your clothing and on cloudy days.
Don't Hit Snooze
Not only is the air temperature lower in the morning, but the sun is less intense and your body temperature is much lower. I get it though. Working out in the morning is hard. Like really hard. I've promised myself I would go for a run in the morning nearly every morning for the past three weeks - and it has not happened yet! But your body will thank you. If the idea of getting up at 6am for a run is the worst thing ever, go later in the evening. During the summer months, if I don't run in morning, I will schedule it for 8-9 pm.
Listen to Your Body
Okay, this one may actually be the most important tip on this list. Your body is incredibly intelligent. If it's overheated, it WILL tell you. If it needs fuel or water, it will tell you. The key is to start listening. If you feel dizzy, nauseous or weak, STOP! You may be dehydrated. Your body will give you signs it's in distress. Pay attention, stop and assess.
How do you keep cool during a summer workout?