by Kerry Taylor
We've gotten what we've asked for these past few days, the sun and some warmer, ummm, I mean, hotter weather. Summer has finally arrived! With the warmer weather, we all tend to want to be outside more, especially in the Northeast. It seems like it took forever for consistent nice weather to hang around. As we take to the outdoors to workout every once in a while, whether it be for a full blown workout or a short run, we need to take a few things into consideration. Working out in the heat is not a bad thing. Studies actually show that training in the heat will help increase performance in normal conditions. I know I'm very guilty of running in intense heat. Why? I couldn't tell you...maybe because of the challenge of doing so, I guess. Here are a few tips to take note of before you get out there to workout in the heat...
Drink it up
Having water on a regular basis is already very important. The body is made up of about 60% water and we lose some of that when we workout. We sweat to cool our bodies off and the more we sweat, the more water has to be replaced. How much water to drink depends on the length and intensity of what you're doing. The more intense and longer the event, our intake should increase. Also consider adding drinks with a high level of electrolytes in it- Gatorade, or other sports drinks. This will help keep you hydrated during your event. Don't slack afterwards, continue to down the fluids. It can't hurt you, it can only help you. Sorry for the increased trips to the bathroom, LOL.
Know when to say when
Some of us, like myself, can be stubborn and try to push it in hot weather. Make sure you listen to your body. We have triggers that our bodies enact to stop us from continuing to put ourselves in danger. When things get too intense and our body temperature is getting into the danger zone, our bodies will tell us by way of lightheadedness, thirst, headaches, cramping, and sometimes event goosebumps. If these symptoms start to happen, look for ways to cool your body off immediately. Step into the shade, find a cool room, a cool cloth/towel, and some fluids.
Know your conditions
What is the weather outside? In the high 90s? Is it humid? Humid days can cause extra issues for you because you can't sweat as well. There is already a higher amount of water in the air, so you can't sweat as efficiently as you would on a normal hot day. The sweat doesn't evaporate as well, thus the cooling effect doesn't happen as well. So, it becomes imperative to pay attention to what is going on with your body and the temperature.
Have the right gear
Make sure you have the right clothes to wear if you are going to venture out on the hot days. You want to make sure you have loose fitting, wicking clothing that will dry easily in the air and not trap fluids in it. Think of your typical Under Armor gear. Consider lighter colored clothing- it will absorb less sun rays. Definitely no pants here, consider shorts or something shorter than your normal pant.
Make sure the timing is right
Try to stay away from middle of the day workouts during the heat. That will be the peak of the high temperatures. Instead, get out there early in the morning or towards the end of the day. These are times where it will be the coolest for you to get your workouts in. If you miss your window, just stay inside and get your workout in.
There you have it. Apply these tips the next time you want to venture out in the heat and you will be good to go! Until next time, continue to strive for greatness and live life 1 degree above the rest.