Summer is the ideal time of the year to enjoy some outdoor activities.
It’s just the perfect time of the year to go out and have some quality time engaging in any of the many outdoor activities which come with the season; swimming, jogging and cycling among other physical exercises. However, the heat can be frustrating especially in areas with high humidity.
I say it can be frustrating because exercising in heat raises your body’s temperature. Luckily, our bodies have a great cooling mechanism to help us adapt to the high temperatures. It’s called perspiration. But even perspiration can fail if we’re exposed to the scorching heat for long. This could lead to a condition called heat exhaustion which drains your energy and leaves you feeling like the next step could be your last. The situation could be worse if the humidity is way up because in that case, the sweat doesn’t evaporate into the atmosphere, instead, it sticks to your skin and keeps your body temperature high making your workout a tall harder.
To stay safe, here are some things to keep in mind when exercising in a hot weather:
1. Stay Hydrated
To regulate your body temperature, I would advise that you carry a bottle of drinking water. Your body is about 60 percent water, it is very important that you maintain that percentage of water lest you get dehydrated. Whenever we work out the water content of the body goes down by 2 to 3 percent, the drinking water will replenish the water content of your body to maintain the ideal level. Drink about 200ml of water every twenty minutes and at least 300 ml after the warm down. If you don’t, you’d experience lightheadedness and nausea. A diet with plenty of veggies, fruits and fluids would also help maintain the amount of water in your body.
2. Time of the day to workout
Anytime before 9 am and after 5 pm is good for an outdoor workout during the hot summers. Avoid physical exercises in the hottest hours of the day to not risk conditions such sun or heat strokes. Overall, the best time for a hard workout during hot summer is early morning/evenings.
3. Replenish your minerals and salt intake
While or post exercising. Since you are sweating more your body looses essentials salts and minerals that need to optimal function. I like to use NUUN dissoluble capsules. Packed with sodium and electrolytes that keep my system in check.
4. Wear loose light coloured clothes
Dark colours absorb heat, bright colours reflect the heat away. Always go for a brightly coloured clothes if you have to exercise in the heat. A training gear made of the cotton material is also ideal because the material makes it easier for the sweat to evaporate fast. Running shirts and shorts are good because they’ll keep your body cool in the hot weather.
5. Always use sunscreen
A sunscreen protects your skin from harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun which could hurt your skin’s melanin. Besides, if you don’t protect your skin, it could get burnt by the sun causing ugly tan lines.
6. Check the weather forecast
Some countries offer heat advisory during summer. If the forecast shows that there’s going to be high levels of ozone during the day, it would be safer to keep your training indoors. High temperatures have a direct bearing on the levels of ozone which pollutes the environment and that’s not good for your health.
7. Use shaded areas in the park
When training in the heat, be sure to stick to the shaded parts of the park/running tracks. The shade will keep you safe from the harmful rays of the sun.
8. Listen to yourself
Exercising on a hot day could get you exhausted sooner that you’re used to. Listen to what your body is communicating to you as you exercise. As soon as you feel nauseous or dizzy, take a break or stop.