With exercise, consistency is key. However, as the upcoming summer is set to be a hot one, many people might see this as a reason to relinquish their exercise routines, because, well, exercise in the heat is HARD!
Yes it’s true. Exercise in heat is significantly more physiologically demanding on our bodies, particularly the cardiovascular system. As always, our mission is to help people stay active and achieve the life improving benefits that exercise provides, and so wanted to help you plan ahead and get in the mindset of maintaining your exercise routine despite the challenges of the upcoming heat. These tips and information are aimed at helping you maintain the motivation and mindset to keep your exercise going during the upcoming summer.
1. Acclimatise Gradually
Believe it or not, you can acclimatise to the heat to cope with it better. Your thermoregulation system will adapt and improve upon repeated exposure. It does this by increasing sweat rates and better handling of electrolytes to name a few. The key to any type of adaptation to stress is a graded exposure and adequate recovery time in between bouts of exercise. Start with shorter bouts of exercise in the heat and then gradually build it up over time.
This should go without saying. In hot weather, your body sweats more to regulate its temperature, leading to increased fluid loss. Dehydration can lead to a reduction in circulating blood volume, decreased cardiac output and a subsequent reduction in exercise performance. Well before exercise, ensure you're well-hydrated by drinking water throughout the day. During your workout, take frequent sips to replenish lost fluids.
3. Choose the Right Time
Timing is crucial when it comes to exercising in hot climates. Avoid the peak heat of the day, typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Instead, opt for early mornings or late evenings when the temperature is cooler.
4. Dress appropriately
Wearing the appropriate clothing can make a world of difference in hot weather. Opt for lightweight, breathable fabrics that allow sweat to evaporate, helping to cool your body. Light-colored clothing reflects the sun's rays, while a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses provide additional protection.
4. Modify Your Intensity
It's perfectly ok to modify your intensity to accommodate high temperatures. The heat itself provides an extra level of intensity so you will still be getting a good workout and all the health benefits that come along with it.
5. Explore alternative Exercise Options
Very hot weather can be an opportunity to explore alternative modes of exercise. This could include indoor activity or swimming.
In conclusion, while exercising in hot climates may present challenges, it's entirely possible to maintain your exercise habits with the right precautions and planning. Staying hydrated, choosing suitable workout times, dressing appropriately, modifying your intensity, and listening to your body are all essential elements of a successful exercise routine in hot weather. By making these adjustments, you can beat the heat and continue to work toward your fitness goals while safeguarding your health. Remember, consistency is the key to success, and with these tips, you can keep the flames of your exercise routine burning, even on the hottest of days.