Stay Cool: 6 Ways to (Safely) Maintain Your Fitness When Temperatures Are Bursting
- By Caila Ball
Summer is the time to celebrate that beach body you’ve achieved…but it can also be the time to lose it if you’re not careful! As the temperature rises to obscene levels, staying true to your fitness plan can be a challenge.
Don’t let the weather win! Keep the bikini abs and board short pecs you’ve been working so hard to build, and maintain your fitness routine this summer. Here are 6 tips on how to stay fit safely in summer weather:
Rise and Shine
If you’ve been thinking of adding exercise to your morning routine – and taking advantage of the metabolism and productivity-boosting benefits an AM workout has to offer - Summer is the perfect time to take on this healthy habit. Summer’s early morning sun is a natural alarm clock (although you’ll probably still need the less than natural cell phone alarm!), and getting in a workout during the coolest part of the day prevents the rising heat from affecting your outdoor fitness.
While an end-of-day will do in a pinch, it’s more likely to be impacted by scheduling conflicts that come up throughout the day. Moreover, the air quality in the evening is more impacted by traffic-related pollution than a pre-rush hour sweat sesh. Skip the snooze button, and check exercise off of your to do list to start your day.
Style for the Heat
Those black yoga pants may be super flattering, but they are absorbing more sun than om when the temperature is high. Trade dark-colored, cotton clothing for lighter-hued duds in breathable, sweat-wicking materials when the sun is out. While shorts and a sports bra may be the tempting choice, opt instead for light material that provides a barrier between your delicate skin and the harsh summer sun.
Fuel your body with fresh fruits and vegetables to energize for summer workouts! Cut down on caffeine and alcohol, and feed your body with nutrient-heavy foods that actually hydrate you. In-season snacks include bell peppers, carrots, watermelon, cantaloupe and cucumber. Looking for a healthy alternative to ice cream? Stock your freezer with blueberries, sliced strawberries and bananas, grapes and coconut pieces for a healthy, hydrating summer treat.
Hydrate…But Don’t Overhydrate
While hydration may seem like an easy goal to reach (just chug water, right?), it’s a bit more complex than that. In fact, overhydration can have similar negative effects as dehydration.
To calculate how much water you should be consuming daily, take your body weight and divide it by two. That number is the number of ounces you should consume (and never more than 30 ounces in an hour).
When it comes to replenishing water lost during exercise, this can be equally scientific. Find out how much water you lose during a workout by weighing yourself immediately prior, and immediately after (having wiped the sweat away). Use the difference to estimate for how much water should be consumed during similar workouts – even if you don’t feel thirsty. To increase the body’s water retention, consider a small amount of salty snacks prior to an endurance workout.
Try an Indoor Workout
Sometimes the best answer is the obvious one, as is the case with air-conditioned workouts in the summer. When the temperature rises above 90 degrees, take your high-intensity workouts inside to an air-conditioned studio. Trade outdoor running for shred-mill or elliptical classes, and burn calories without the suffering. Don’t be a fitness martyr: the calories will still burn without the sun.
…Or One Under Water!
Dive into fitness by taking your workout into the pool! Check for open lap hours at your local pool, or splash around in a water aerobics class. Just remember the waterproof sunscreen if you are outdoors!