9 Tips For Working Out In The Heat

9 Tips For Working Out In The Heat

A heatwave doesn’t need to mean your fitness regime goes to pot. We caught up with Keith McNiven, Founder of London-based personal training company Right Path Fitness, for his top tips on working out in sweltering weather – from the heat-reducing kit to invest in and the best time to train, to clever hacks for feeling refreshed on your runs…

1. Allow More Time Between Reps 

If HIIT training is your thing, you may have a set routine that you tend to work to, leaving 30 seconds to one-minute between reps. However, when temperatures rise, consider upping your rest time between reps in order to help you to avoid overheating. Always try to bring your heart rate down in between reps and remember the heat can make your heart work overtime – don’t be afraid to take a few extra seconds if it’ll mean you can work harder for longer.

2. Switch Your Training Times 

If you usually head for a run at lunchtime, bear in mind you’re heading out in the hottest part of the day. It’s far better to switch to an early morning run when it’s still cool and humidity is lower – working out in the morning will also set you up for the day and leave you feeling energised. Just be sensible about running in the heat and remember to take a bottle of water with you at all times.

3. Make The Most Of The AC 

Most of us aren’t lucky enough to have air-conditioning at home, but there’s one place that almost certainly does – the gym. So, if you’re feeling the effects of the hot weather, remember it’s actually one of the coolest places to be. If you’re training for a half marathon or 10K, consider taking your runs to the treadmill and switching up your outdoor HIIT sessions for a studio-based class.

4. Head To The Ocean

For a refreshing breeze, there’s nothing quite like like the beach. It’s usually far too cold to even attempt a swim in the sea, but if you have a beach near you then use the opportunity to try some ocean swimming – just make sure it’s safe to do so and don’t venture out too far. Keen runner? Bear in mind running on the sand requires 1.6 times more energy expenditure than running on a hard surface, so try taking your run to the shore for a burst of cardio.

5. Go Low 

High intensity training like HIIT is best avoided in intense heat. Low intensity interval training or LIIT offers many of the same benefits, but without all the jumping about. Swimming is a brilliant LIIT workout, as is fast walking, cross training and cycling. If possible, try to work out in shaded areas, which will offer you more protection from the sun and will take the edge off the heat and humidity.

6. Stay Hydrated 

An obvious one, but drinking enough water is vital to ensuring that exercising in the heat doesn’t cause you to dehydrate. Whatever you normally drink during a training session, aim to drink up to twice this amount, so for most people this would be anywhere between one and half to two sports bottles of water drank over the space of the workout. In the heat, drinking little and often is better than drinking large amounts at once.

7. Avoid Wearing Black 

It’s no secret that black attracts the heat, so give some thought to your kit if you want to keep your cool. Aim for lighter coloured clothes and ideally kit that’s breathable and lightweight. Also try running in a cap, which can make a huge difference when it comes to keeping your body temperature on an even keel.

8. Think About Sodium 

When you sweat, you’re losing sodium – lose too much and it can lead to cramps. Sodium is essential for your muscles, because after they’ve contracted due to exercise, the sodium allows them to relax again. Too little sodium can cause your muscles to become rigid and stiff. In the hot weather, you can replace any sodium lost by drinking the occasional sports drink when you train.

9. Remember Prevention Is Better Than Cure 

If you’re heading outdoors to exercise, make sure you wear a hat to protect you from the worst of the sun – you can even wet it beforehand to keep you really cool. Protecting your exposed skin from the sun’s harmful rays is extremely important too – try Ultrasun’s Sports Gel. And after training, a cooling shower will return your body temperature to normal.
For more training tips and inspiration, follow Right Path Fitness on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter

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