The dog days of summer are here and with that, you may have noticed your body reacts differently when exercising while heat and humidity are lurking around every corner. Don’t let this cause you to lose momentum though. We’ve got some tips on how to stay cool while getting fit.
COOL DOWN BEFORE YOU HEAT UP
Try lowering your body temperature before heading outside by taking a cold shower, dip in the pool, put ice cold cloths on the back of your neck or heck - just run through a sprinkler like the good ole' days.
CHANGE YOUR WORKOUT TIME
I know for most it's hard enough as it is to schedule time in for a workout but in the summer heat, you may need to look at adjusting your schedule if you’re used to exercising during lunch. Early mornings and late evenings are the best times for outdoor exercise. On blistering, hot days, even the shade won’t bring much relief.
A few years back, my family came out to San Diego for a visit and we went on this desert excursion when the high was going to be 98 degrees. We were excited though. I twas going to be this jeep off-roading tour but I remember Jen drinking coffee on the drive out with maybe a few sips of water here and there.
I'd say about 20 minutes into our adventure, she suddenly got really sick from what seemed like out of nowhere. I'm talking siiiick. Our tour guide had to dump water on her head to cool her off and she was walking around the rest of the tour with a frozen jug of water on her neck to keep cool.
Why did this happen? I think part of it had to do with that caffeine. It acts as a diuretic, forcing water out of your system. This is the last thing you want, especially when exercising in the summer heat. Save your caffeine intake for several hours before or after your workout, rather than near the time you will be exercising .And yes, that means energy drinks too.
This is an obvious but often overlooked tip so I'll just give you this friendly reminder. Commit to drinking a bottle of water before, during and after your workout to reduce the heat stress on your body. And if you have an electrolyte powder or drink, add that in there for even more hydration. For more tips on how to stay hydrated, check out last blog where we do a deep dive on this topic.
CHOOSE YOUR CLOTHING CAREFULLY
Wear clothing that’ll move sweat away from your body and help it evaporate quickly. Skip the cotton and stay cool in a fabric designed for exercise. Also, wearing white or light colored clothing will help to reflect the heat.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
Our poor bodies. We put them through some serious abuse. You may think it can handle anything thrown it's way but there's a limit to the extreme heat it can tolerate. When the temps start creepin' up, you may find that you need more frequent breaks than usual. That's ok! The heat places greater stress on your heart so keep tabs on your heart rate as you work out in the heat. If it spikes quickly or stays too high, give it a rest. Be humble here and listen to your body.
HIT THE TRAILS
Have you ever been shopping in the summer and had no choice but to park wayyyy in the back of the parking lot? Then, when you got out, it felt like you were walking through the desert because it was scorching hot? And if you're like me you were probably sweating by the time you got into the store. Well that's what happens with concrete or asphalt because it reflects the suns rays and radiates heat. So if you plan on going for a walk or run this summer, hit the gravel or grass trails instead of the sidewalks or roads.
KEEP MOVING WITH THESE MUST-HAVES
If that sun is sizzlin’ keep your workout short and squeeze in my 3 must-have mobility moves that will keep the aches, pain and tightness away. They only take a few minutes so you can do them on their own or mix them together. They're completely free so check em' out and keep moving!
ABOUT COACH MATT PIPPIN
Matt is a Strength and Mobility Coach with over 15 years experience in his field. He's coached over a thousand professional, collegiate and everyday athletes with the goal to help them move, feel and perform at their highest level. CLICK HERE to learn more.
NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
Level 3: Fascial Stretch Specialist
Level 1: Institute of Motion Health Coach
Certified FRC Mobility Specialist (FRCms)
Level 1 Kinstretch Instructor
Weck Method Qualified