Everyone should exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle. During the summer months though, overheating and dehydration may become more of a risk during physical activity if you don’t take the necessary precautions.
Don’t be left feeling flush and faint. Try our tips on how to beat the heat while exercising this summer.
You may feel like we’re stating the obvious, encouraging you to stay hydrated while exercising, but did you know that drinking water also helps to regulate your temperature (which helps you to avoid heat stroke), as well as helps you to feel less fatigued?
To avoid loss of fluids while exercising, drink a glass or two of water before you’re active and sip water every 15 minutes while exercising, even if you’re not thirsty. When you’re finished exercising, have another glass or two of water to replenish any fluids that you’ve lost. Avoid caffeinated drinks, which usually causes fluid loss.
For maximum comfort while working out, wear light-coloured, loose-fitting, breathable clothes. Light colours should help reflect heat. Cotton blends are best to help limit moisture absorption and post-workout odour.
If you’re exercising outdoors, a wide-brimmed hat/cap and sunglasses will help to protect your head, face and eyes.
Your risk of skin cancer is increased each time you’re sunburnt. Don’t take the risk. Before heading outdoors, lather on that sunscreen to protect your skin from sun damage – even on a cloudy day. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 45 or higher and reapply every two hours during moderate exercise, or every 45 minutes to an hour during intense exercise.
Consider exercising during the mornings or evening when it’s cooler. Avoid exercising outdoors between 10:00 and 16:00, when the sun’s rays are strongest. When outdoors, regardless of the time, choose a shaded area to exercise to avoid direct sunlight.
If possible, check the air temperature and humidity levels before exercising to avoid heat exhaustion.
It’s important to follow a light to moderate exercise routine when it’s hot and humid, so that your body can adjust. Even more important is to listen to your body if you’re feeling tired, dizzy, faint or nauseous. Stop to rest and hydrate.
Besides water, you need to replenish your electrolytes when exercising as they’re lost through sweating. The hotter it is and the more intense your workout, the more likely you are to sweat. For more natural, healthier options that will replace lost sodium, choose coconut water, chocolate milk or cherry juice instead of popular sports drinks with added sugar and artificial ingredients.
Bestmed Tempo fitness journey
As a Bestmed beneficiary, you can unlock your Bestmed Tempo wellness journey with a biokineticist, who will customise a fitness programme to suit your health and wellness needs. Simply complete your Health Assessment at any Dis-Chem, Clicks, Van Heerden Pharmacy, Alpha Pharm or Sparkport pharmacies.
Decker, J. n.d. 8 Tips for Exercising in Summer Heat. Active. Available [Online]: https://www.active.com/fitness/articles/8-tips-for-exercising-in-summer-heat. [Accessed: 22 November 2021].
National Kidney Foundation. 2021. 5 Tips for Summer Fitness. Available [Online]: https://www.kidney.org/transplantation/transaction/TC/summer14/5-Tips-for-Summer-Fitness. [Accessed: 22 November 2021].
Smith, S. n.d. 10 Common Summer Workout Mistakes to Avoid. Active. Available [Online]: https://www.active.com/fitness/articles/10-common-summer-workout-mistakes-to-avoid. [Accessed: 22 November 2021]