With the recent heatwave we’re passing on some top tips on how to train in hot weather:
1. Avoid the 10 am-3 pm peak heat
We’re all familiar with that advice on holiday of staying out of the midday sun between approximately 10 am – 3 pm.
In hot weather at home, it’s best to try to avoid working out then too- especially if you’re going to be training outside in direct sun.
Our top advice would be to try and get in those early morning workouts that can be such a struggle in the winter months. Now that it is light from as early as 5 am and still cool, it’s a great time to exercise.
Plus, it’s a great feeling to get your workout done first thing. It means you can enjoy the rest of the day and not have to worry about feeling motivated in the evening after a long hot day.
Although the thought of getting up early to exercise– whether that be going for a run, working out on your exercise bike or grabbing the dumbbells – may sound tough, exercise releases endorphins so it’s great for helping boost your mood and kick starting your day.
2. Too hot outdoors? Exercise indoors
As those summer temperatures really are going to soar, so we strongly suggest taking to the great indoors.
Not only will you be away from the potentially harmful heat, but you’ll probably enjoy a more effective workout and can then go and enjoy the sun afterwards. (After a nice cold shower, of course!)
Point a fan towards you- your cardio machines, such as treadmills, elliptical cross trainers and exercise bikes are just brilliant in hot weather.
You can also get some great inexpensive fitness accessories for a top indoor workout, such as resistance bands, medicine balls, kettlebells and dumbbells..
3. Water- a life saver
The great weather offers a great opportunity to take your workout outdoors, but it’s absolutely paramount that you stay well hydrated.
When you sweat, your body doesn’t just lose water – it also loses important electrolytes and salt. Together with water, these are crucial for keeping your body functioning properly. Mess up the balance and you’ll get dehydrated and your performance and health will suffer.
Make sure you’re hydrated before you even start exercising. Have a glass or two of water before you start and keep that water bottle with you throughout your workout. Aim to drink six to eight ounces of water every 15-20 minutes during your workout. And keep drinking after too – it’s critical for maximising your performance and keeping you motivated.
4. Change your exercise routine
To stay motivated, mix up your exercise with activities such as cycling, swimming or jogging. This not only changes up your routine but also allows for greater training volume with less fatigue.
If you can break up your workout into a few shorter sessions in the day, that will help you cope better. Or you could go for a shorter run outside, followed up by some indoor training. This could be on an indoor exercise bike perhaps, or some weights training.
5. Protect yourself from heat and sun
Make sure you wear clothes that are not only lighter in weight and breathable, but also lighter in colour, as this will help to reflect the heat.
And don’t forget to protect exposed skin with sunscreen. Sunscreen is not just for holidays! In the hot weather here, you’re at high risk of sunburn and sunstroke, which can not only be painful, but can also make you very unwell so you won’t be able to train effectively next time.
6. Acclimate yourself to the heat
If you’re exercising outside, it’s important that you let your body get used to it. Exercise for shorter periods outside before taking it indoors and gradually increase the amount of time you can tolerate outdoors. A great tip would be to hunt out those shaded areas away from the direct sunlight.
7. Don’t overdo the exercise
Although some research does indicate that exercising in heat can boost performance, this is really reserved for the elite athlete and much research still needs to be done to get the science backing to support this theory.
Our advice is to listen to your body and know when to stop, or slow down. Working out in average British temperatures is very different to 30 degree plus heat and it’s important to take it seriously. Why not use a heart rate monitor to assess things? If your intensity level rises above your target range, slow down or stop to avoid overworking.