With temperatures soaring, many of us will want to take our workouts outside, especially if we’re continuing with our home and park training. To find out more about exercising during a heatwave the experts at GolfSupport.com got in contact with Elliot Hasoon, the founder of EH Coaching and host of The Simply Fit Podcast, who offered his top five tips for people who want to work out outside during a hot day.
Exercise in the early and late hours of the day
Exercising in the early hours of the day has many advantages, it’s quieter, before the business of the day, and it’s a lot cooler. Set your alarm earlier and complete your workout as early in the day as you can to ensure you avoid the higher midday and mid-afternoon temperatures.
If you’re not an early bird, waiting until the sun goes down will be your second-best option. It won’t be as cool as it is in the AM, but the heat will be considerably lower allowing you to train without too much trouble.
One of the biggest concerns we need to look out for when training in the heat is dehydration and maintaining optimal fluid balance. As we exercise, our body’s core temperature will naturally increase resulting in us losing bodily fluid through sweat. The heat will increase our temperature further leading to even more fluids being lost through exercise.
You should drink about 250-300ml 30 minutes before your session, you should continuously sip water throughout the workout, and ensure that you drink between 500ml-1L post workout.
You also want to be mindful of avoiding electrolyte imbalance. Electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium, all play vital roles, such as maintaining fluid balance, muscle, and nerve function, regulating blood pressure, among many more. So, you can supplement with electrolytes to help maintain this balance.
Reduce your session times or split them up
If you have no choice but to train in the heat, it’ll be worth reducing the time you’re exposed to it. The longer you’re outside, the more chance you have of becoming dehydrated and experiencing the negative impacts of the heat.
If your workout is typically one hour, 3x per week, perhaps you can try 30-minute sessions instead and do them 5-6x per week so that you complete the same amount of exercise but reduce your exposure by 50%. You could also look at splitting up your workouts, perhaps you can carve out 30 minutes in the morning to get the first half down before the sun rises and you can then wrap up your session later in the day.
Wear appropriate clothing
Function over fashion is key if you’re training outdoors in the heat. Wearing lighter coloured, sweat wicking clothes will be favourable. Not only do we want to focus on keeping our core body temperature lower, but we also want to ensure we’re comfortable too. The heat will already be an element of discomfort and you don’t want to add poorly fitting attire on top of this too.
Bonus tip – consider your accessories.
An armband that will hold your water bottle, sunglasses, or a fanny pack that you can pop sunscreen in will help – especially if you know you’re sensitive to the sun. Applying sunscreen before you head out to exercise is a great tip too.
Listen to your body
Remember, your body may still struggle to adjust to the heat even when you follow these tips. Listen to your body and the signs it gives you. If you feel faint, dizzy, or simply too hot, stop.
Start with shorter workouts, longer rest periods and lower intensity sessions. You can increase the intensity as your body adapts. Initially just focus on keeping yourself as healthy and safe as possible.
The transition will take time so be patient with your body and continue to eat and sleep well to support your body as it adapts.