Summer days typically mean sunny skies, and with sunny summer skies come summer’s heat. For many, this summer heat means the sudden onset of a lethargic or sluggish feeling in their bodies, and such a feeling may cause them to forego any previous plans of exercising this summer. To avoid that summer workout hiatus, here is some advice on how to stay fit this summer, while staying safe in the summer’s heat.
1) Whatever you do, stay hydrated! It is always important to imbibe plenty of liquids before and after (and often in the middle of) any workout period, but the increased outdoor temperatures make this need for fluids even more vital than before. Although drinking “lukewarm” water is certainly not as appetizing as guzzling ice-cold beverages, the lukewarm water may actually be better for you, as its slight difference in temperature will not cause any shock to your body’s system. Some people may prefer sports beverages (such as Gatorade) when working out because they also help replenish the body’s loss of salt through sweating. However, the most important thing to do while working out in the summer heat is simply to drink lots of water.
2) Work out in the mornings or evenings if possible. Such time slots generally offer cooler temperatures than other periods of the day-especially compared with the sweltering heat of the midday sun. Although it may be beneficial for your muscles to be exercising (regardless of the time of the day), working them out during a period of time where the external factors (such as the temperature) are not as harsh will make the experience more pleasant.
3) Wear clothing that is lightly colored, as opposed to darker shades. The lighter colors (like white) will reflect the sunlight instead of absorbing it, and this simple observation of physics can save you from increasing the feeling of the sun’s heat upon you. Additionally, try to wear clothing that will wick your sweat away from your skin; several different brands advertise having this quality, so try to find one that works for both your sweat and your budget. If you are choosing to exercise outdoors, remember to apply sunscreen before you go outside. Although enjoying a “nice summer’s tan” may be socially enticing, protecting your skin from the dangerous rays of the sun has greater benefits than just social acceptance.
4) Consider taking up a water sport such as swimming. Staying in the water will keep you both cool and exercising at the same time. Of course, it is still crucial that you stay sufficiently hydrated even while participating in water sports. However, swimming is still an excellent option for summer workouts. Many public and club pools offer set times for lap swimming, and spending your time in the water will certainly give you muscles an all-around workout, while helping your lungs as well.