One of the biggest ironies about summer is that while you want to look and feel your best through a healthy diet and regular exercise, thinking about the heat and discomfort can often persuade you otherwise. You’ll then find yourself sitting on the couch under the air conditioning with a chilled soft drink in hand and before you know it, the plan to workout has suddenly vanished. Successfully working out in summer can and should be recognised as a massive personal achievement, so in order to reach this fitness goal, we’ve compiled a guide to ensure you smash and survive your summer workout.
They say timing is everything and your summer workout is no exception. If you can, complete your workout early in the morning before the sun even rises. Yes, you’ll hate those miniscule moments of actually waking up, but the only regret found in a workout is the one you didn’t do. Think about it.
But, if you’re seriously not an early riser, try delaying your workout until the afternoon or evening. By then, the temperature will drop, making your workout somewhat more bearable. Also, try not to work out between 10am to 3pm, these 5 hours are said to be the hottest moments throughout a normal day.
Before beginning your workout, drink a glass of water to make sure you begin hydrated and fresh. Carrying a water bottle or keeping one nearby during a summer workout is crucial. Take a drink every 15 minutes of your workout, even when you’re not thirsty, or drink as needed. But remember, although water is the best fluid you can give your body, over hydrating yourself can be incredibly dangerous.
This tip is for those who are not complete without their daily outdoor workout. Whether you’re a runner, cyclist or you enjoy doing your circuit training in the park, sunscreen is a must. Opt for an SPF of over 30 to ensure you’re giving your skin all the protection it needs. Also, if you can, try to run or cycle along shaded footpaths and trails; staying directly out the sun is goal here.
If you’re like me, then you don’t feel motivated to workout unless your gym gear is looking on point. Unfortunately, during summer, we’re gonna have to ask you to temporarily give up your leggings, depending on when you want to workout. Wearing spandex or tight clothing will only trap the sweat under your clothing, preventing your skin from breathing. In this case, break out your favourite workout shorts and go for gold. Avoiding black is another unfortunate circumstance that summer brings. Black clothing attracts heat, while bright, coloured clothing reflects the heat. Wearing cotton will also be an ally, as cotton assists with the evaporation of sweat, oh and don’t forget a hat!
Eat smaller meals post workout.
Normally it makes sense to enjoy a large, healthy meal after an amazing workout, but when it comes to summer and the heat, many often find it uncomfortable to eat a large meal. This is because the larger focus post workout is to replenish your water levels. However, this doesn’t mean that you should skip your meal altogether, instead, switch to a light but filling smoothie or yoghurt with muesli to get the nutrients your body craves after a workout.
Listen to your body.
A massive factor that should be taken into consideration when working out in summer is the presence of dehydration or heat stroke. If you begin to feel faint, dizzy or nauseas, stop immediately. Do not continue to push yourself to complete the workout or you could risk serious damage. Make sure you’re constantly listening to your body during your workout while providing it with whatever it needs, whether it be for you to slow down, take a sip of water or to come to a complete halt.