When exercising in summer heat people need to be very careful as they can fall prey to heatstroke, heat exhaustion, heat syncope or heat cramps. Therefore, it is vital to drink enough fluids, wear the correct clothing, time your workouts and protect yourself against the sun.
Drink plenty of water
Dehydration plays a key factor in heat illnesses. Drinking lots of fluids whilst exercising is essential to remaining cool, improving your ability to sweat and replenishing liquids lost to sweat. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink as that means you are already slightly dehydrated. Alcohol should be avoided around your workouts as it is a diuretic that will make you urinate more, take in less liquids and can dehydrate you.
Monitor the temperature
Plan your workouts around the weather forecasts and heat waves by knowing what point of the day is the hottest and when is coolest. Being more cautious about working outdoors during the summer will help to avoid heat illnesses, sunburn and potential dehydration. Morning or evening will probably be the best time! Those new to exercise should be careful as your body may not tolerate the heat.
Eat hydrating foods
Fuelling your body with foods that won’t dehydrate you on a hot day is essential. Avoid foods that are heavy, spicy, high in fat and protein, and diuretic foods (coffee, tea, soda, asparagus and mangoes). Instead aim for hydrating foods that have a high-water content such as apples, lettuce, oranges, radishes, pineapple, kiwi, celery, melons, cucumbers, berries, grapefruit and avocado. They will cool your body and keep you hydrated.
Wear the right clothing
The clothing you wear when working out should vary with the seasons. In summer, lightweight and loose clothing allows your sweat to evaporate and keep you cool. Dark colours are a big no as they absorb heat and make you even hotter! Also, if you are exercising outdoors then a hat is a must as it will help to protect you from the sun.
Wear sun cream
Ensure you are constantly applying sunscreen as sun burn is not only painful but can increase your risk of cancer. You need to protect your skin as even on a cloudy day you can burn and suffer from skin damage. The sun’s rays are strongest from 10am to 3pm, so try to avoid exercising during this time.