Tuesday, 19 July 2016

It's too hot to exercise

It's too hot to exercise?  Stop using it as an excuse, there are ways to keep up your fitness when it's hot.  Here are some top tips to keep exercising even when the sun is out.

1.  Go in the morning.

So it's hard getting out of bed at 6am for a run?  Try getting back from work at 6pm when it's 10 degrees hotter and motivating yourself!  Trust me, early is better as evenings are always much hotter than mornings.  Take a look at a weather forecast which breaks it down into hourly or two hourly chunks to see just how much cooler it always is in the mornings.

Also you get a smug feeling of "I've already done my exercise for the day".

It doesn't have to be a run either, even an indoors workout is cooler at this time of day but see later...

2.  Reduce the time (a bit)

If you'd normally do a 5 mile run, maybe make it a bit shorter, perhaps 3.5-4.  Getting out is what matters.

3.  Or reduce the intensity

It's not going to matter in the big scheme of things if you decide to make today a Pilates day or Yoga day rather than a HIIT day.  Just if the heat continues, if you want to keep as fit you will need to do some cardio and strength as well.  Alternatively go for a long walk in the sunshine.  Something is better than nothing.

4.  Exercise outdoors

If you don't have air con (and no-one I know in the UK does for the 3 days a year you'd need it) try exercising outdoors, especially strength work outs can be done easily on a picnic mat on a lawn in the shade.  The gentle breeze makes it more bearable.

5.  Go for a swim

In this weather, every Lido in the UK will be rammed but indoor pools?  Perhaps not so much and it's the one time climbing into the cold water will be a relief not a shock!

6.  Hit the gym

Exercise classes and indoor gyms are often quieter in hot weather yet they're the one place which is probably going to have excellent air conditioning.  Personally I'm not a gym fan but if a heatwave continues, it can be a welcome relief while still keeping up the intensity.

7.  Keep hydrated

When you exercise of course but also throughout the day as that will help your exercise periods too.

8.  Wear lighter clothing

If you normally wear full leggings, give shorts a try.  Don't worry whether you look great in them, at the slightest whiff of sunshine in the UK, half the male population are pulling off their shirts and running around the park.  None of them care so I doubt anyone cares about my wobbly legs either.

9.  Choose shaded routes

When you're out running, those tree lined routes which can be too muddy in winter are great to dust off in hot weather.  The mud is likely to have dried out but still giving plenty of shade to help keep you cooler.

10. But listen to your body

If you start to feel dizzy, unwell, sick or overheated, stop.

What are your tips to keep active when it's hot?  Let me know in the comments below.

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