This is the case for both indoor and outdoor workouts in the Summer’s heat. Just think of how steamy those indoor Spin and HIIT classes can get, and how humidity can be a killer on those morning runs. Luckily, there are a few ways to prepare for these temperatures and keep yourself motivated when you’re losing energy.
6 Tips For Sticking With Your Workout When It’s Too Damn Hot Outside
Drink Before and During the Workout
Always hydrate before a workout, but then drink throughout, too, to keep your energy up and your body balanced, explains Rebecca Gahan, CPT, owner and founder of Kick@55 Fitness in Chicago. “You want to stay ahead of hydration versus chasing it,” she says, as that’s where it can leave you susceptible to heat exhaustion, early fatigue, and even heat stroke in extreme cases.
“While the exact amount [to drink] for you will depend on several factors, the daily recommendation is eight 8-ounce cups of water per day. You’ll need more if you’re working out regularly though, especially in the heat. So, during your workout, try to consume at least eight ounces every 15-30 minutes,” adds Lindsey Mathews, CSCS, head trainer at IdealFit.
Do Interval Training
“Keep the workout short and divided into intervals. This will keep you motivated but also allow for breaks,” says Gahan. Here’s an example: pick eight exercises and complete a four-minute Tabata of each exercise, she says, where you’re doing 20 seconds of 110 percent effort followed by a 10-second break. During this break, you’re able to cool down slightly to avoid getting too hot, and it brings in some variety to stick with it.
Practice in the Heat
Expose yourself to those hotter temperatures to build tolerance. “Take your workout to a hotter environment one or two times per week to better condition yourself overall,” says Gahan. “You will then find that you are able to endure more when indoors and conditions are ideal,” she says. So, maybe it’s doing a warm-up outside before getting into your main workout, taking your runs outdoors twice a week, or running a lap or two around the block in between HIIT circuits.
Make It a Game
“Turn an outdoor workout into a game and use your city’s geography to set workout goals,” says Gahan. Think like: “How fast can I run to this landmark?” or “I can take a break once I reach X location, but then resume with an AMRAP or set of burpees after the short break,” she says as an example. The playful aspect will give you immediate goals throughout your workout and keep your energy up.
Keep a Damp Towel Nearby
“When you’re training during the summertime, especially outdoors, overheating is a serious issue that you want to avoid at all costs. To help with temperature regulation, I suggest taking a damp towel with you while you work out,” says Mathews. “You can pat your face down or drape it over your neck periodically to help you stay cool while you train.”
Enhance Your H2O
Nothing wrong with water, but for extra-lengthy workouts in the heat, you might want some added power. “When you sweat, you lose more than just water. You also lose electrolytes, which are important for optimal performance! And when your electrolyte stores become depleted, you’ll start to lose energy,” says Mathews.
Sipping on an electrolyte-enhanced or BCAA-enhanced beverage during your workout can help. Both can come in powdered form, but Powerade and Gatorade also deliver electrolytes. “I suggest a low-sugar powdered electrolyte drink, however, because it serves its hydrating purpose without adding a lot of extra calories you have to account for,” she says.