Hot weather workouts take a little preparation and a lot of sweat. Fall weather can cool off, but not here in drought impacted California. This last week our recent heat wave of temperatures over 100 have reminded me an extra push in heat can improve your fitness performance.
As long as you prioritize keeping safe in the heat.
How to prepare for your hot weather workout.
Sometimes even the most logical ways to keep cool slip our mind when we are heading out in unfamiliar workout scenarios. Keep these tips in mind when the temperature starts to climb.
1. Dress for the weather
Not only does this make sense for your day wear, but truly applies to what you wear for your workout. Choosing materials that help wick away sweat, or picking your favorite cotton/poly blend loose fitting clothes will help. That cool feeling you get when you sweat is actually your sweat evaporating.
Sounds gross but works great at helping keep you cool. Keep away from anything that absorbs sweat in hot weather.
2. Hydrate, hydrate and hydrate
Sweating more means replacing that water in your body to make sure you avoid exhaustion, heat related cramps or the worst scenario of heat stroke. Take your water bottle with you and keep sipping as you go. Small amounts of water more often will help you more than downing a full bottle in the middle of your workout.
While you are thinking about hydration, stick to water. Sports drinks and other sugar based drinks will not help you replace what you will be sweating out.
3. Pick the right time of day
Sure you are ready to go out and workout in the heat, but stay smart and pick a time of day that isn’t blazing. Morning or evening are your better choices. Midday heat is asking for potential extra stress on your body, so plan your hot weather workout around this plan.
4. Start off slow
Letting your body acclimate to the heat for just a few minutes at a time will let you know how much hot weather workout you can take. If you usually run, start walking and see how you feel for a few minutes. Bump this up with every workout and you’ll notice your tolerance builds up.
You’ll notice that you will start sweating earlier, which is a sign your body is adapting. More sweat means you cool off faster, so that’s a good thing!
5. Find a little shade
Of course running in the shade on a hot day feels great, but if you are starting to overheat shade is also a great way to take a break. Tree lined walkways, parks and trails are not only a gorgeous view for your hot weather workout.
6. Cooling off
If you are out in the heat of it, you may need to cool off quick. Remember these few simple tricks on how to cool your body down quick.
- Run cold water over your forearms to help reduce body temp. You can do this in public areas by taking advantage of drinking fountains or rest rooms.
- Spray bottles give you a nice spritz that when you fan your skin helps you cool down fast.
- Wrap the back of your neck or forearms with an icepack.
7. Find a friend
Teaming up with a friend is a good idea is you plan on long hot weather workouts that are new to you. If you aren’t paying attention the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion show up fast. Fainting is one symptom so having a friend around is much safer.
8. Know the signs
Hot weather workouts will raise your body core temperature so keeping an eye on how you are feeling will make this a productive workout, with no heat exhaustion side effects.
If you are feeling any of these coming on stop and check in with your self:
- Unexpected muscle cramps
- Nausea or vomiting
- Cool, moist skin
Watching for these signs will help avoid the more serious heat stroke issues. Don’t mess around with heat stroke and if you are feeling these symptoms, find help.
- No sweating with dry, hot skin
- Weak pulse that is very fast
- Body temperature over 105°F
Keeping a hot weather workout fun
Giving yourself a challenge by heading out in warmer weather. If you have been training for a big event, I highly recommend trying it.
It never fails that the race day environment will throw you a curveball with weather. It’s better to train in the heat so you are prepared when you are surprised with a heat wave that falls on your race event. You will want to push yourself during a race, but during training is when you can work on improving workout out in the heat.
How’s the weather where you are?
Go get your fit on