This long lasting heatwave is a very welcome guest in the South of England, however, we need to ensure we are doing all we can to stay cool, safe and hydrated during this warm spell. Dehydration, sun stroke and heat exhaustion can lead to serious health implications, so it's important to look after yourself.
As obvious as it is, hydrating yourself sufficiently is probably the single most important thing you can do when exercising in the heat. Dehydration can cause nausea, light headedness and even kidney failure. Drink water before you work out, sip every 15 minutes, and after you have completed your workout too. It is important to continue to drink water throughout the day to replenish your stores.
Replenish Electrolytes & Salts
When you sweat, you are losing water, electrolytes and salt. To ensure your body is functioning at its optimum level, it is vital to keep the balance of these products. If you replenish your water, without replenishing electrolytes and salts lost, you risk hyponatremia causing cramps, seizures and even death. You can purchase small packs of sodium and electrolytes.
Time Of Day
In England, typically, we are not used to working out in warmer climates, and the transition can feel somewhat overwhelming. Where possible, avoid working out during the hottest part of the day, usually between 10am-3pm. Early morning is ideal, during the middle of Summer if at all possible. It is also an idea to stay in the shade if you have the option to do so.
Sunscreen is essential during a summer workout. Even on a cloudy day, your skin can get burned or damaged. Opt for a high factor: 30 or above, ideally waterproof to last through your sweat. When our skin burns, we are more prone to sun stroke, as well as serious skin conditions, so stay covered and protected throughout.
Sun hats are a great idea, to prevent sun stroke. Ensure your sun hat is light in colour to prevent your head getting hotter, and choose a sports cap with ventilation if you have the choice. You can also opt for sports clothing with an SPF to ensure you are as protected as possible. Light colours and loose fitting material is preferable, as well as clothing with suitable ventilation.
Exercising in the Summer can be thoroughly enjoyable. In addition to this, you can burn more calories and improve your endurance, but we need to ensure we are doing so safely to keep our bodies fit and healthy. If it becomes too much of a struggle, reduce the speed and intensity of your workout, or pay a visit to your local air conditioned gym or swimming pool if you would prefer.
Ultimately, the most important thing is to listen to your body and react accordingly. This isn't the time to be increasing your workout intensity or setting new challenges.