It seems like just weeks ago we were stuck in an eternal winter. And just like that, now it's full-blown summer. Heat. Humidity. Lots of sunlight. Lots of sweat. Now that it's beautiful outside, many of us want to work out while enjoying the outdoors. Off the treadmill and onto the roads for that run. Out of the spin class and onto your bike for a hilly exploration. For most of us, this is exciting. Exercising outside -- in a park, on a tennis court or on the beach -- gives us a greater sense of freedom and enjoyment. However, we all need to adjust cautiously as we remove ourselves from the luxury of air conditioning, are further away from a water fountain and have to endure the elements.
Here are 4 Tips for Your Summer Workout:
1. Treat Your Body Right.
Eat well, sleep as much as you need to, and drink frequently. We often have one too many drinks at happy hour, get a poor night's sleep, and then try to hydrate immediately before a tough workout to make up for the damage done. Bad idea. Our bodies don't adjust that quickly. A balanced regimen will help us exercise effectively and recover. And don't forget the sunscreen!
2. Refuel. And Refuel Again.
Feed your body early and often to sustain an appropriate level of electrolytes and carbs. Drink water to hydrate before, during, and after your workout. Complement hydration with either sports drinks, like Gatorade, or electrolyte-rich foods (e.g., Gu, salt capsules, pretzels, etc.). If it's hot and you're working out, you need to replenish what you're losing from sweat. When you sweat a lot, you'll taste your natural salt on your face. Combat that sodium loss proactively.
3. Embrace the Occasional Rain Shower.
Don't be scared of a little rain. A passing shower can be just what you need to cool off mid-workout. While training for the New York Marathon last year, I had diligently crafted my running plan. Without checking the weather forecast, I started my 14 mile run. About three miles in, it began to drizzle. At mile four, a healthy downpour. I was running loops in Central Park and contemplated circling back and going home early. I decided not to, and pushed through. That run gave me more confidence that I would be prepared for the unpredictable on race-day.
4. Listen to Your Body.
It's often our minds that tell us we are too hot, too tired, or too sore. But sometimes it's actually our body warning us. This past weekend, I brought my iPhone to the beach and, at a certain point it stopped working and had an ominous "iPhone needs to cool down before you can use it" message on its screen. After cooling off for a bit, it was back to playing my audiobook. Unfortunately, we don't have a simple, built in heat-warning system. We need to learn to listen to the subtle messages that our bodies give us. Sometimes, it's just not worthwhile to push ourselves in extreme temperatures. Take it inside... cool off, take a break, and, if need be, work out inside at your gym or home.
We'd love to hear from you. What do you do to stay cool and fit when it's hot and humid? Comment on our Facebook page at facebook.com/flytefitness or tweet us at @flytefitness.
Be Flyte Fit,
Co-Founder & CEO