Exercising safely during the summer

We take a look at the way to perform at your best in the summer heat.
20.07.2016

The summer months can be some the best for you to get out and enjoy yourself. It’s personally one of my favourite times of year because there are so many different types of activities to take part in if you want to remain in shape and enjoy the long days and the warm sunshine.

There is however a big issue to deal with when taking part in activities in the summer sun and that is coping with the ever increasing heat and the challenges that presents. If you’re not careful you can become a victim of the heat, humidity and possibly suffer from exhaustion and physical stresses.

When you’re training and sweating your body loses essential electrolytes and salt that can add to suffering from muscle cramps, dizziness and nausea. Failure to not drink enough water to keep your body hydrated whilst training (and in everyday life) can lead to all of the above symptoms and in the extreme cases kidney failure. At the other end of the spectrum you can also over do the hydration of the body and this can lead to confusion, muscle cramps and seizures. The trick is to have a healthy balance of electrolytes and water in your system for your body to maintain a good working balance.

So what can we do as athletes and fitness fanatics that can combat dehydration or advance our training methods in the hot summer months?

Timing

The time of day for your training can make massive impact on how successful you are during the summer. Try to avoid training between the hours of 10am and 3pm. This is typically when the sun is at its brightest and the heat at its highest. Training outside of these times can really benefit your output and keep you cool enough to keep hitting your targets. Try for early morning workouts as the long hot days can take your energy and make you feel sleepy the later you leave it.

Clothing

Aim for the use of sweat wicking clothing as these will help to evaporate the sweat and keep you cooler than heavy nylon based fabrics. Wear vests and sleeveless tees where you feel comfortable with them and never let fashion choices decide how cool you could be.

Sunscreen

With the heat in the summer not only comes in the threat of dehydration but also the danger that your skin can be targeted in very high heat. If you’re training outside in the direct sunlight always use some form of sunblock or cream. Remember to be open-minded with it and that you can still get burnt if it’s cloudy out.

Replenish your electrolytes and salts

As well as keeping hydrated it is essential that you keep your salt and electrolytes high in your system. Using simple small capsules or tablets in your diet can be a good way to keep both of these high during the hot summer months. Try taking them just before or just after exercise in order to boost your system and keep your body stacked whilst training.

Drink, Drink, Drink!

Keeping your body hydrated is a must in everyday life so why would you ignore in the summer time? Make sure your first drink of the day is a glass or two of water and that your last drink is also one. This ensures that your body is getting its balance at the beginning and the end of the day and that it can perform adequately in the summer months. Aim for a good intake during times as this is your body’s peak time for hydration and try to drink at least 2-3 litres with an added 1-2 on extremely hot days where the chance to become dehydrated is higher than normal.

Listen. Respond. Stop

The most important thing to focus on when the weather is extremely hot and humid is that you need to listen to exactly what your body is telling you to do. Never fight the urge to stop and rest for a few minutes if the heat is getting to you. Your body is your best indicator of what to do next. If you’re feeling dizzy, sick, tight or cramping take a few moments to rehydrate and get some vital fluids in your system and allow time for it help your body before starting your exercises again. This is your best tool you have and you should never ignore an ill feeling or fail to hydrate yourself when you feel it’s needed.

So there you have it folks. A few simple guidelines to follow when training in the heat and those great summer months. Keep your training levels the same but just make sure your body is prepped and maintained at a high enough level for you to continue smashing your training goals. Drink plenty of water to remain hydrated in the heat and always try to supplement your muscle’s electrolyte and salt balance with additional support where possible.

Stay safe in the summer sun and keep hydrated!

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For tips on how I train, eat and supplements follow me on:

Instagram: @Taeo Robinson
Facebook: Taeo Robinson
Twitter: @Taeo Robinson

#TaeoRobinson #DoTheDamnThing


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