The warmer weather is coming and it can play a big factor in your training, racing and overall fitness. The heat, sun and humidity that come with summer workouts can be very dangerous. Avoiding the possibilities heat stroke, heat exhaustion and dehydration are key elements of a good summer plan. Here are five tips to help you prepare for summer workouts.
Prepare for summer workouts by checking your schedule. As the daily high temperatures climb, it can be incredibly valuable to change your workout schedule. If you’re working out in a gym, you can stick with whatever works best right now but if you’re training means you’re outside, hit the road or track in the early morning when it’s coolest and the sun isn’t shining directly overhead. If mornings aren’t an option, try to find a place to put workouts in the evening. The setting sun and dropping temperatures will help you stay cooler than earlier in the day.
One fun way to prepare for summer workouts is to try something new. If you usually go for a post work run in a sunny park or a bike ride on black paved roads, try stand-up paddle boarding or a lunch hour spin class. If you can find an alternative indoor or water based workout you enjoy, skipping the great outdoors for a day or two to stay safe won’t make you feel like you’re missing out.
Put a good hydration plan in place. An important element of preparing for summer workouts is keeping your body full of fluids. Staying properly hydrated can eliminate lots of risks associated with hot workouts. Sweat rate and fluid intake is also a good way to gauge your exertion level when the heat might make it hard to tell just how difficult your run, bike or outdoor strength training session is.
Go shopping. If your workout wardrobe is full of long sleeved tops and full length bottoms in winter warming dark colors, purchasing light colored options is a good way to prepare for summer workouts. The light colors will reflect rather than absorb the sunlight, keeping you cooler from beginning to end. Investing in a hydration pack can be a good addition to any equipment collection and be sure to stock up on sunblock, sunglasses and hats.
The heat and humidity that play a role in summer workouts can make it hard to tell just how much effort your expending during a session. Prepare for this by easing into the warmer weather. Start with comparing a workout you’re familiar with to how you feel after performing it on the first hot day. Slowly add time to outdoor workouts and be aware that you’re working harder just because it’s hot out from the moment you begin.
Use these tips to help ward off the dangers that come with summer workouts and stay safe, healthy and fit all year long.