With the weather trending on the warmer side, you might find that your workouts are beginning to be a little harder to get through. In fact, anyone exercising in the heat runs the risk of experiencing heat stroke, caused by prolonged exposure to high temperatures.
Luckily, there are a few tricks to help you beat the heat so you don’t have to miss an opportunity to get your workout in.
1. Plain H20 isn’t enough
Hotter temps mean you’re going to be sweating more. Sweating more means expelling precious minerals, namely sodium and potassium. When this happens, drinking water isn’t enough. Drink a sports drink that also contains carbohydrates like Gatorade 1-2 hours before you head out the door. If it’s a shorter run, a cross-training session or a dance class, add a low-calorie electrolyte mix like Nuun or Ignite Naturals Refresh to your water. This way you aren’t cancelling out the calories you drink with what you burn during your workout.
2. Exercise at the coolest time
It’s a no brainer that the hottest part of the day is the afternoon. If you’re going to exercise in the heat, get outside during the morning before 10 A.M. or in the evening after 6 P.M. If there’s no way to avoid a mid-day walk or jog, then try to find a shaded path or trail. If you’re body is particularly sensitive, then just head straight to an air-conditioned gym. Exercising should be enjoyable and not stressful. When it comes to extreme conditions, listen to your body and take the proper precautions to protect it.
3. Layer on the sunscreen.
Sunburns still energy from your body. Make sure to thoroughly apply sunscreen before you head out the door to ensure that your muscles are doing the work, not your skin. Go the extra mile and throw on a visor or hat to protect your face.
4. Throw on some shades
Squinting and contracting the muscles of your face can actually take a lot of energy. Wear sunglasses to prevent squinting and the distraction of having impaired vision. You’ll be more comfortable during those miles or minutes if you don’t have your face scrunched up the entire time.
5. Cool your pulse points
Your pulse points are locations where your blood vessels are close to the skin. Placing a cold compress on your neck, temples and wrists can help to cool the temperature of the blood nearest the skin, which circulates cooler blood throughout the body, lowering the body temperature. If you’re going to be working out in the heat, chill out with a cold, wet towel around your neck and wrists before heading out the door. If you’re doing interval work, hill repeats, or an activity that provides breaks, bring a frozen bottle of water with you and splash cold water on your pulse points during your rest periods to keep your temperature from rising with the effort.