Let’s face it: during the summer sometimes getting a workout in can be just dreadful. The heat, the humidity, the blazing sun… it’s draining! I live in the hottest state in the US- it gets up to 120 degrees. Of course, there’s no excuse not to still keep up with your workouts. You may just have to change it up a bit. Here are some tips for beating the heat, straight from the Arizonian herself:
Get up early! This is the best tip of the bunch. Usually, it is 10-15 degrees cooler than the high around 5am-7am. This way, you get your workout out of the way for the day, and don’t have to drag yourself to the gym or go on a run later in 100 degree heat! Win-win.
If you can’t get out early, there are still other options! Of course, you can go to a nice air conditioned gym anytime of the day. If you want to run outside when its hot, you still can! But it’s important to be safe about it. My beastly mother runs 5 miles when its 110 degrees out. And its because of 3 things…
She worked her way up to it. When we first moved here, her first run in the middle of summer was HARD. She could only run a mile or two, and had to take frequent walk breaks in between. However, each week she increased her mileage a bit, and decreased walk times. Your body will adapt, but it takes time. Giving it time and starting out gradual is essential.
Drink enough fluids before the run. Drink enough during. Drink enough after. When it’s cool out, you can get away with not bringing water on a run. In the summer heat, you HAVE to bring water. Dehydration will cause nausea, weakness, can be very dangerous. With water, you can run much farther and/or with more intensity.
Mental aspect. You have to be confident you can run in heat. You have to say to yourself “I am a summer runner. I love the heat.” People sometimes automatically assume they cannot run when it’s hot. I will just say, sometimes you are stronger than you think. It’s critical to believe you can do it. My mother goes out and runs on the trails at the scorching hot time of 1 o’clock in the afternoon. She’s got some mental strength!
Cool gear. CamelBaks are a lifesaver! It’s so much easier than carrying a water bottle plus you can hold so much water in it! Feel free to pour water on your face with it mid-run. There are even bandanas that you can put in the freezer, and then wear it around your neck or head before you go outside to workout. Plus, it just makes exercising more fun when you have cool stuff to show off. The options are endless!
Electrolytes! Not only do you need water, but you need those minerals to replenish what you’ve lost through sweating! Without electrolytes, you can get headaches from exercising in heat, become weak, and basically just feel really crappy instead of energized by your workouts. Also, electrolyte imbalance can be dangerous! Gatorade, electrolyte drink mixes, electrolyte pills, etc are all quick and efficient options for getting in electrolytes during a workout! Keeping this in check will ensure your workout in the heat is SAFE.
Be aware and conscious of your body. Listen to it. If you feel too hot or nauseous, slow down and get some water in you. If your throat is dry, gulp down some more. If you feel good, go for it! Crank up the intensity! It sounds redundant and obvious, but you must be conscious of how you physically feel in order to be smart about your workouts, especially in the summer heat.
Get out there and beat the heat!
Fitmark Ambassador 2013