The summer’s finally here and with it, many people are ready to go on vacations. That typically means going to the beach and wearing swimming suits. If you’re not exactly in shape at the moment (and who can blame you with the past several months), it may be time to hit the gym and get at least some of the summer body you wanted.
However, working out in the summer often means dealing with heat and can be a lot different than the rest of the year, depending on where you live. We reached to fitness experts at San Diego’s FIT chain of gyms to tell us a bit more about the inherent problems that working out in the hottest part of the year brings.
The number one concern for anyone in the heat of the summer day is hydration. You need to make sure that your body has enough water for all the processes. That goes double for people who are working out. The amount of water your body loses through perspiration is significantly higher when exercising which means that it needs to be replenished.
Even though the advice has generally shifted from the whole ‘drink even before you are thirsty’ philosophy for everyday use, when you are working out, this advice still applies. The first signs of dehydration won’t be thirst – it will be fatigue and suboptimal performance. Don’t overdo it either and make sure you’re drinking water, and not sugary drinks.
Expecting the Same Results
This one applies especially to those who decided to work out outdoors. While it can be very rewarding and refreshing, an outdoor workout is considered less effective than a gym-based one. Simply put, you’re reliant on weather conditions, and the weather conditions in summer can be brutal.
Not only will your body temperature rise much faster, your sweating to cool yourself down will become less effective. That means that you cannot use your gym performance as a reliable benchmark for your outdoor workout. Gyms are climate controlled for optimal conditions – something you will rarely find outdoors, especially in the summer.
Your Clothes May Be Holding You Back
When it gets hot, many people immediately go for the smallest amount of clothes they can wear and still look decent. They wear loose-fitting clothes to beat the heat. Even though it may sound like a good idea, when it comes to working out, these kinds of clothes may be counter-productive and even downright dangerous.
Loose clothes could snag your weights or parts of the machines and cause problems to you or other gym-goers. Instead, gym experts recommend wearing light clothes that fit your body. This way, all those problems can be avoided. It is also recommended that you wear some kind of a cap, especially if you are going to be outside for any duration of time.
However, more important than the fit of the clothes is the material. When it is hot outside, make sure to wear only natural materials such as cotton or linen. Oh, and avoid dark colors – for obvious reasons.
Just as drinking enough water is important, so is eating enough, and eating right. Working out burns a lot of calories and that energy needs to be replenished somehow. Even if your goal is weight loss, you need energy from healthier sources that will help with your fitness goals.
Don’t forget that sweating depletes your sodium and potassium, which means that a good basis for your post-workout snack could be as simple as a banana.
Workouts are great, but during the summer heat, you should take extra care of yourself, and that includes the time when you’re exercising.