We have all been there, but have we done that? Our regular workout has been made more difficult by the heat and humidity outdoors. For some, it was a perfect excuse to postpone physical activities, some even never entertained the thought of doing them again. On the other hand, there have always been the “keen few”, who were too eager to maximize the result of the exercise that they decided to do it in the most scorching heat. Needless to say, many of them actually jeopardized their health.
Does that mean that workout should be abandoned and left for cooler days? There’s no reason for that. There aren’t many more refreshing activities in life than a swim in a pool or lake on a hot day. Not only does it cool you, but it’s also a perfect exercise. A jog in the woods is another option, since the temperature is bound to be lower by a few degrees and there’s shade provided by the trees. If there’s no pool or a park near you and working out indoors is out of the question for some reason, you have to be quite careful about how you go about your routine. Here are some things to consider.
Time of the day
Avoid exercising in the hottest part of the day. Try to organize your day to squeeze in a workout before 9 a.m. or after 6 p.m. Most of us usually exercise at that time of the day anyway, but it’s crucial to stick to it during heatwaves. This is particularly important in areas with higher pollution, since the heat just makes it even less bearable.
You need to take enough water or some other fluid-replacement beverage before, during and after the workout. Hot conditions lead to more sweat, which means we lose even more fluid. Chances are a regular plastic bottle won’t keep the contents cold long enough, so you might consider investing in an advanced modern water-bottle.
Though it may seem obvious, it’s worth keeping in mind. Look for trees, tall buildings or anything else that can provide shade during your workout. It might mean zig-zagging a bit, but it is definitely worth it. Your mind knows the temperature is the same, but your body doesn’t share that opinion and reacts quite differently.
Extremely hot weather means that you should avoid (almost) everyone’s favorite cotton. In theory, you could go shirtless, but there are also new performance fabrics made to assist you when exercising in scorching heat. Also, although it can hardly be categorized as clothes, but is equally important, do not forget to apply sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher.
Try to adjust the duration and intensity of your workout slowly. Gradually increase the strain and allow your body time to adapt over the course of several days if possible. This is particularly important in case you’re replacing the gym (i.e. an air-conditioned space) with the great outdoors for some reason.
Simply going from point A to point B
Common sense tells us that extreme temperatures need to be avoided. Still, sometimes we have no choice but to go out, regardless of the heat. If you really have to do that, consider the increasingly popular self-balancing scooter, which uses your slight motions and weight shifts to take you to your destination without you having to actually break a sweat.
Heat, as we all know, can pose a great threat to our health if the necessary precautions are not taken. Still, it is manageable, provided you’re determined to start or continue exercising. Some studies claim that the same activity is more beneficial in hot weather if the humidity level is the same. We just need to adapt and reap those benefits.