Summer is a great time of year to get outside and exercise, but the high temperatures and blistering sun can impede your progress and lead to health issues if you don’t come prepared. Here are five tips to make your workouts safe and maximize your progress this summer.
Hydration becomes more complicated during the summer as your body sweats out more fluids to combat rising temperatures. That means you must pay especially close attention to your water intake throughout the day. Here are the recommended daily amounts based on your sex and lifestyle:
Average adult men: 3.7 liters per day
Average adult women: 2.7 liters per day
Adult male athletes: 5.7 liters per day
Adult female athletes: 4.0 liters per day
As you can see, active people require more daily water intake to fuel their lifestyles. If you want to maintain your workout routine throughout the summer, increasing and monitoring your water consumption is a good place to start if you want to maintain your workout routine throughout the summer.
The American Council of Exercise (ACE) also established a set of mid-workout hydration guidelines to help athletes fuel their workouts. Here’s how you should drink water as you exercise:
Drink 18-20 ounces two to three hours before your workout.
Drink 8 ounces 20 to 30 minutes before your workout.
Drink 7-10 ounces every 10 to 20 minutes during your workout.
Drink 8 ounces within 30 minutes of your workout’s completion.
Drink 16-24 ounces for every pound of body weight lost during the workout.
If you’d rather drink something with flavor, sparkling water and sports drinks will keep you hydrated too. Just watch out for the drinks with high sugar and calories if you’re on a diet. Liquid calories add up fast!
Speaking of diets, you will benefit from eating more cool and refreshing foods during the summer. Here are some food items you might enjoy:
Cold fruits and vegetables
Fruit and veggie smoothies
Not only will these foods help you beat the heat, but they also have high water content and significant nutritional value – carbohydrates, vitamins, natural sugars, antioxidants and more. Fruits and vegetables are two of the five essential food groups, after all. You should already be eating at least two cups of each group per day.
You can also make your summer workouts more tolerable by wearing light-colored, breathable clothes. The best materials for hot weather are cotton, linen and polyester. Of course, your clothing also depends on your activity. For example, cyclists have to wear helmets, form-fitting suits and gloves to protect themselves from injuries and perform at a high level.
No matter how you choose to work out, make sure you wear the appropriate equipment to keep yourself safe and play by the rules. Taking shortcuts by skipping essential gear will only impede your long-term progress.
Human skin needs as little as 11 minutes of sun exposure for sunburn to start setting in. A cloudless day in the middle of summer is the perfect environment for quick sunburn, so you must stay diligent with your skincare. If you want to exercise outside, apply a strong sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher before, during and after the workout. Sweat causes sunscreen to wear off quickly, so frequent applications will be necessary.
If you notice the symptoms of sunburn before your workout is over, don’t try to push through it. You’re better off cutting the workout short or finishing it indoors. A bad case of sunburn can cause extreme pain and leave your skin feeling irritated for days, which would interfere with future workouts and delay your long-term goals.
If your schedule allows, try to time your summer workouts outside the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. This timeframe is the hottest part of the day, increasing the risk of dehydration, heat stroke and other ailments. Exercising in the early morning or evening will be more comfortable and less dangerous.
Plus, morning and evening workouts tend to have other benefits. A morning workout can energize you for the rest of the day and may help you manage your appetite. An evening workout takes place when your body is the most flexible, reducing the risk of injuries and possibly improving your performance. Either option is much better than a mid-day workout during the summer.
Summer can be uncomfortably hot at times, but you shouldn’t have to halt your progress because of the heat. Monitor your hydration, adjust your diet, wear the necessary protective devices and time your workouts in advance to stay on track this summer and reach your goals.
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