Working Out in Summer Heat

by Sep 2, 2020

Does the idea of working out in summer heat just make you hate summer?  Even though Colorado is home to the most gorgeous hiking trails ever, your desire for coolness might outweigh all that mountainous glory.  So sad.  Exercising while admiring nature is the ultimate mood booster.

So for this brutal summer, do you have a fitness plan?  The gyms are either closed or have limited capacity, so how will you conquer the heat and stay on top of your fitness? 

Here are some tips to working out in summer heat!

Dress Lightly

If you’re motivated enough to go outdoors, make sure to wear light clothing.  Both lightweight and light-colored.  Loose-fitting is always best.  Keep all that sweat from pooling in the creases of your tight dark clothing!  In addition to cooking you up, tight clothing also increases your chances of infection and other awful skin conditions.

And don’t forget your wide-brimmed hat!  The bigger the brim, the better the protection!

Morning and Night are Your Friends

Believe me, I’m well aware that buying new clothes is a nightmare right now.  You can’t try anything on, and most places (save for online shopping) won’t take returns.  So if you don’t have light clothing, try to make time for a morning or evening.  Anytime before 10 AM or after 5 PM should be ideal temperature-wise.

But also keep the UV index in mind!  I’ve brought it up in previous articles, and I can’t recommend the UVI app enough!  Always take a look at the index before heading outside, and be prepared with sunblock!  Avoid noon, if possible; that’s when it’s the highest and most harmful!

Consider Fitness Apps

These are perfect for an indoor workout regimen!  There are so many good ones, but let me tell you about my favorite one!

Don’t let the name deter you, as I think it’s great for anyone regardless of fitness goals.  It’s called Lose Belly Fat at Home, and it’s the best!  It has many different workout plans to choose from depending on your goals, and you can even build your own routine under the My Training tab.  Add as many different exercises as you want, decide your own number of reps, and make it as light or intense as you wish!

But you know what really makes it my favorite?  The fact that I just moved into a 4-plex and I’m on the upper level.  I really don’t want to do any jumping, as my neighbor below is so very nice and seems to like my family.  But how do I get some aerobic exercise on the top floor if I refuse to go outside?  I click the button that says discover, and I find the workout routine called “no jumping”.  How cool is that?!  If you also have neighbors below you, it’s a sweet little routine!  Go check out the app, or any of the similar ones — if the icon is a drawing of a fit human in front of a red background, those are all made by the same people.

Cold Therapy

Whether you’re indoors or outdoors, bring something extra cold with you!  If you’re going up to the mountains in 90-degree weather, maybe bring a frozen water bottle with you.  Use it as a cold pack until it becomes a drinkable consistency again!  Another good use of cold therapy is to take a cold shower right before heading out into the heat.

When at home, get creative!  If you read my blog about cold therapy, then maybe you remember the part about leaving your clothes in the freezer.  I can’t think of a better way to start a summer workout than slipping into freezing clothes!  And if you have a reusable cold pack, place it in a big bowl of ice and set it close by to your workout station.  It’ll be there whenever you need a cool down!

Drink!

Yes, you should be doing this no matter what season it is.  But when the sun is sweating you into a delirium, you need that water more than ever.  If your outdoor journey is long, don’t put yourself at risk for heatstroke.  Keep in mind that if you load up your backpack with drinks, you’ll give yourself a good strength workout too!

Know Your Limits

This is really important.  If you’re feeling a burn in your muscles, that’s probably nothing to be alarmed by.  You’re growing or maintaining tone, and that’s good!  But if you experience pain, dizziness, confusion, nausea, or trouble breathing — STOP.  Especially when outdoors in the heat, you’ll want to stop what you’re doing immediately if something just doesn’t feel right.  Should you become dangerously overheated, help might not be accessible as it would be at a crowded gym.  Be careful.

It’s ok to have different limits depending on environmental conditions.  If you can run ten miles a day in the spring, don’t be discouraged if you can’t even do half of that in the summer heat.  There are other things you can do to compensate for that lack of mileage covered.  It’s a good idea to consult a doctor or physical trainer if you need to alter your fitness plan.  (And if possible, check out the fitness apps!)

So, there are your tips to working out in summer heat!

Stay cool everybody as you continue working out in summer heat!

 

Written by: Katrina Jenkins, LMT

Photo Credit: Canva by Dirima

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