As summer heat gets intense, you should understand its effects on your workout sessions. Hot weather and high humidity increase your core body temperature by slowing the transfer of heat to the air around you as sweat doesn’t readily evaporate from your skin. When you produce heat that raises the internal temperature, your heart rate increases and vessels expand to bring more blood to the outer layers of skin, where the heat is released. This leads to heat stress and heat-related illness.
Get smarter and follow these 10 summer workout tips for cooling down and staying safe.
i) Exercising in hot weather increases our body temperature. Yes, our body has a built-in cooling system that helps us adjust to heat. That’s why we perspire. But if the humidity is quite high, you’re in double trouble because your sweat “sticks” to your skin; it doesn’t evaporate as readily, which can send body temperature even higher. The result may be heat exhaustion and even heat stroke.
ii) ACE’s general recommendation is to drink 17 to 20 ounces of water, two to three hours before exercise on a typical day. During your workout, you should drink an additional 7 to 10 ounces of water every 20 minutes. You’re better off drinking a small amount more frequently than downing a lot of water all at once.
iii) A good way to know that you’re hydrating properly is by checking the color of your urine. If it’s pale yellow, you’re well hydrated. If it’s darker, drink more. Be careful not to drink too much water, it can lead to a problem called hyponatremia (low blood sodium).To be safe, drink the recommended 7 to 10 ounces of water for every 20 minutes of activity.
2. REPLENISH YOUR ELECTROLYTE AND SALT INTAKE
i) Avoid sports drinks and other sugary beverages, as they are high on calorie intake. Sports drinks should only be considered if you’re of ideal body weight and exercising for long durations at high intensities. Even then, it’s a good idea to dilute sports drinks to avoid excessive calorie consumption.
ii) To replace electrolytes lost from profuse sweating, opt for coconut water instead, which has one of the highest sources of electrolytes, and can be used to prevent dehydration or even diarrhea. Alternatively, make your own sports drink by mixing some lemon or lime juice with water along with a pinch of unprocessed, natural salt.
3. DON’T LOAD PROTEIN
i) Research suggested that too much protein before a sweat session could elevate your basal temperature, making you feel even hotter. You’re better saving the protein shake after your workout, when it’ll help you rebuild your muscle.
ii) Cool off your insides with cold water. Researchers have known for some time that lowering core body temperature before and during exercise can help you perform better.
4. CONSUME COOLING FOOD
i) Eating fruits and vegetables during exercise provides ample electrolytes for the body, even further decreasing the need for high-calorie drinks. Mixture of different fruits can make number of different kinds of food and drink. It includes berries, peaches, apricots, nectarines, plums, melons, mangoes, lychee, nuts, Cantaloupe, honeydew and fresh figs.
ii) Both nectarines and apricots are rich in vitamin A and the antioxidant beta-carotene, while peaches contain plenty of vitamin C.
iii) Curd/ yogurt is a delicious coolant, Coconut water is full of health benefits and has wonderful cooling properties. Other fruits like Cucumber, Mint, Watermelon can help you keep cool during the summers.
5. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY, GO SLOW
i) The humidity is above 60 percent, and halfway through your jog, you start to feel nauseated, it could be a sign of heat exhaustion and dehydration. Give your body time to adjust to summer. NATA guidelines say it can take from 10 to 14 days to acclimatize to warmer weather.
ii) Symptoms of heat exhaustion are Weakness, Light-headedness, Paling of the face, Muscle cramps, Headache, Nausea, Vomiting or Rapid-heartbeat.
iii) Trying to push through heat exhaustion can lead to a potentially life-threatening heatstroke. If symptoms persist, head for the shade or an air-conditioned space and replace fluids by drinking water. If after 30 minutes you’re still feeling nauseated, call a doctor.
iv) If you normally run, then start jogging or walking. If you’re a brisk walker, slow it down. As your body adapts to the heat, gradually increase the pace and length of your workout.
6. EXERCISE – MORNING OR EVENING
i) Unless you are training for an event that takes place in the daytime heat, avoid exercising from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sun, humidity and pollution levels are most intense during the midday. Generally, early morning is the best time for summer workouts.
ii) Rise early to catch the cool of the morning, or go out for a jog at sunset or later.
7. CHANGE THE TYPE OF WORKOUT TO FIT THE TEMPS
i) Summertime isn’t the best time to push yourself, so shorten and split up your workout. Start slow, exercising for just a few minutes at a time, and gradually increase the amount of time as your tolerance builds. Signs of increased tolerance include breaking into a sweat more rapidly, and your sweat being more diluted or watery.
ii) If you’re set for a 30-minute workout, move with less intensity or perform in intervals to avoid overheating. Remember to take breaks!
iii) You can run twice in a day, say 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes at dawn. Choose shaded trails or pathways that keep you out of the sun.
iv) Remember that even a 20-minute workout has positive health effects. It’s the number of days you exercise that matters most. The frequency of days far outweighs the amount of time of any given exercise session.
8. APPLY SUNSCREEN, EVERYWHERE, ANYTIME
i) Sunscreen is a must! Many swimmers assume that because their heads are usually halfway underwater, they don’t need sunscreen on their face. That’s a myth. The sun’s rays bounce off the water and the ground below to penetrate the skin on both sides of your face, making you prone to serious UV damage.
ii) Avoid sunscreen’s that say they’re “waterproof”. Instead, look for the labels that offer “water resistance” and SPF 30 broad-spectrum protection. Try using SPF 45 just to be safe.
iii) It’s important to protect your skin. You can get skin burns on cloudy days also and even during morning/evening walks.
9. GO COLD BEFORE & DURING WORKOUTS
i) Cold shower before a workout will cool you down. Leave your hair wet and pop it in a bun, so when you head outside water dripping down your face and neck will feel refreshing. If you have short hair, carry a water bottle with you and squeeze a little on top of your head whenever you need a little cooling boost.
ii) Running cold water over your forearms will help reduce your body temperature.
iii) Using a spray bottle, spray cool water on your skin while fanning air on it—either with a small portable fan, a paper fan, or even a towel or piece of clothing. As the water evaporates, your body temperature will drop.
iv) Apply an ice pack or cooling neck wrap to your neck, and forearms.
10. WEAR LIGHT-WEIGHTED, LIGHT COLOURED WORKOUT CLOTHES
i) Dark colors absorb the heat. Heavyweight, tight-fitting clothing will also heat you up. Keep it loose and light. More air will be able to circulate over your skin, keeping your temperature lower.
ii) The lighter color will help reflect heat, and cotton material will help the evaporation of sweat. You may also want to try specially designed, “hi-tech” running shirts and shorts. They are often made from material meant to keep you cool.
iii) Loose-fitting polyester/cotton blend clothing or other fabrics designed to wick away moisture will help to keep your body cooler. It’s not sweating that cools your body, but rather the evaporation of sweat. So avoid wearing clothing that soaks up the sweat but doesn’t allow it to evaporate.
This might be useful for someone in your circle. Share with them on facebook, Google+, Instagram.
Do you know some more Summer Workout Tips?