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Beat the Heat: Three Tips to Avoid a Meltdown

Aug 1, 2013

With summer temperatures with us for another couple of months, it can be hard to focus on your workouts and keep your eye on the prize. As sweat drips down your face and clothes stick in various places, it’s a lot easier to throw in the towel and accept defeat, instead of sticking to your routine and beating the heat.

To keep from melting away this summer, overcome the intense hot sun with a consistent fitness routine that is active, cool and fun.  

Say Hello to Hydration
Drinking enough water throughout the year is an important component for everyone’s lifestyle. But when temperatures climb in the hot summer months and you are active outdoors, consistently drinking enough water is even more critical to maintaining your health and safety.     

“Hydration before a workout in the heat is really important. And the more you perspire during your workout the more water you need to drink,” says Will Willing, personal trainer at Fitness Together Auburn. “I have my clients drink eight to 12 ounces of water before they work out in the heat and then consistently throughout their workout. I also try to instill in myself and my clients to drink a glass of water as soon as they wake up in the morning. You’ve just had six to eight hours of having no water in your system so it’s important to replenish your water supply first thing in the morning.”

While drinking an adequate amount of water is an important factor when exercising outside in the summer, it’s also important to keep tabs on other elements that can contribute to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Some of these additional contributing factors include body size, exercise intensity, fitness level, age, humidity and air temperature.

“I’m a huge advocate for working out in the heat,” Willing says. “You can get twice the effect working out in the heat than when you are inside. You can work out for a shorter amount of time and reap the same rewards as long as you monitor hydration and watch for the warning signs of heat exhaustion.

“Working out in the heat does provide some elements of danger, but as a trainer it’s my job to watch for the signs for my clients,” Willing adds. “If a client reports dizziness, headache or starts to feel faint, these are all common signs of heat exhaustion.”

Hit the Pool to Stay Cool
Summertime equals swimming time for most kids and families, but taking your workouts to the pool can also be a great way to stay cool while being active this summer.

Swimming laps is a great total body cardio and resistance training workout, but you don’t have to be a strong swimmer to benefit from exercising in the water. A good non-swimming pool workout that Willing suggests is simply running or walking back and forth in the shallow end of the pool as many times as you can in a set amount of time to get a high-intensity but low impact workout.

Alternating between treading water and resting in the deep end of the pool for a set number of one-minute intervals also can be an effective summertime workout. The power of water as a built-in resistance tool can allow you to burn a maximum amount of calories in a relatively short amount of time.

Head Indoors for a Healthy Exercise Environment
If grueling hot temperatures are weighing you down and keeping you from getting in your outdoor workouts, take your exercise routine inside for a more stable and consistent environment. Working out indoors can help protect you from the outdoor elements of the summer season and allow you to focus more on getting in a good workout. It also can provide a good opportunity to try out new equipment, small group classes or exercises that you commonly may not do in an outdoor environment.

Whether you work out inside or outdoors, the most important thing this is to keep your exercises fun and challenging, while maintaining consistency when the heat is on the rise.

“In your journey for health, discipline is one of the best things you can do for yourself,” Willing said.  “When it comes to beating the heat, don’t let hot temperatures be an excuse and don’t let them stop you from getting your workout in.”

If you are looking to beat the heat this summer, head into your local Fitness Together studio where the air is cool but the workouts will have you working up a sweat.


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