Written in collaboration with OnBuy
During a heatwave, the long hot days mean it can be a battle to keep to your fitness regime and, when it’s humid out, your usual workout can feel like torture.
To make sure you can keep on top of your exercise regime when things heat up outside, here are some tips on how to survive workouts despite the soaring temperatures.
Exercise early in the morning or late at night
Setting your alarm earlier and completing your workout as early in the day as you can is the best way to avoid the extreme midday and mid-afternoon temperatures.
If you’re not a morning person, the second-best option is to wait until the sun goes down to get your workout in. Whilst the temperature won’t be as cool as first thing in the morning, it will still be considerably lower, allowing you to exercise without overheating.
If you are going to train outside, try to stay in the shade as much as possible, and don’t forget to apply sunscreen.
Try different workouts
If you don’t feel like running outdoors when it’s hot, there are lots of other types of exercise you can try. For example, why not take advantage of the air conditioning and run indoors on a foldable treadmill, or practice lower-intensity exercise like yoga or Pilates?
All varieties of exercise are great in summer, but if there is an excessive heat warning, it’s advisable to stay cool inside.
If you do want to make the most of the nice weather, a walk outside or open water swimming are good ways to keep active, whilst avoiding a heat-related injury.
Hydration is important for top performance in your workouts at any time of year, but is especially crucial when the temperatures get high.
To avoid fatigue and ensure higher endurance, drink plenty of water throughout your day, and take sips every 10 – 20 minutes throughout your workout.
If you struggle to remember to get enough water in, invest in a reusable bottle with the hours marked along the side to keep track of how much you’re drinking.
How you dress can make all the difference to how comfortable you are during your workout but matters even more when exercising in the heat.
Bright colours are good for reflecting the sun and opting for sweat-wicking shirts and shorts can help keep the sweat at bay.
Avoid dark, heavy clothes which can make you even hotter, and gear — such as protective padding or helmets — which also trap heat and raise your body temperature.
Of course, safety is vital, so if you must suit up, shorten your workout intensity and duration.
Listen to your body and know your limits
Don’t push yourself as hard as you usually do in your workouts and don’t beat yourself up if you don’t hit your usual goals or personal bests. You are still achieving something by being active and moving.
Always be aware of your limits and when it’s time to take a break. A heatwave is unusual in the UK, so your body may struggle to maintain your usual endurance under the added stress. If you begin to feel dizzy, nauseous, or tired, give yourself a break.
After all, taking some time off for rest is better than overdoing your workout and becoming ill or injured and having to stop working out altogether.
Extreme heat doesn’t necessarily mean you have to abandon your workout regime, you just need to adapt and move in new ways to allow for the hot weather.
By following the above tips, you can stay active in the summer months whilst ensuring you keep safe and healthy.