It’s hot out. Unbearably so. Cardio is up on the training plan. You’re lacing up and taking a couple more moments in your AC-chilled home. You’re opening up the weather app and asking yourself how are you supposed to get railed up for health and fitness when you’re about to run toward a potential heatstroke.
Well, first things first, don’t do an outdoor workout if it’s going to cause safety concerns. Fitness is important, but not to the point of hospitalization. If you want to begin a fitness journey in the dead of summer, you’re going to need a cheat sheet telling you precisely how to stay active when it’s hot ASF out.
Bodies ideally need to be trained year-round. Starting in temperatures under 75 degrees first, if you plan on exercising in 80-degree weather, later. We’re chemically engineered to be adaptable but only with substantial build-up.
With all that said, a super hot day is not the day to try something new, but it’s still a day to exercise.
That means skip the new HIIT workout and go for something low-impact so your body can keep up and keep you safe. Pay attention to the time of day as well.
A mid-day workout may be your norm, but mornings and evenings are much safer training environments for your body to work in.
It’s completely doable to keep on working out when it’s hot out. You may not be as motivated, but the additional health benefits are out there waiting for you. Just think of how delicious that cold shower is going to feel afterward, how refreshing the water will taste, how much your mood will be lifted.
Don’t give up your efforts to be healthier just because it’s a boiler out there. Hot yoga is a thing because training in the heat has many benefits. Here are some benefits of hot yoga which translate over to heat training in relatively similar ways.
- You’re more flexible. (Check out this study to learn more.) Less prone to injury. After, some weeks of heat training, you may even feel lessened back pain (which could have been caused by knotted up and stiff muscles.)
- You become more comfortable while exercising on hot days. Meaning it gets better, more enjoyable, and you don’t have to derail your fitness plan because of the weather. Adapt, don’t quit.
- If you practice hot yoga several times a week, it can help you lose weight. In fact, when compared with a regular yoga session, hot yoga participants burned more calories.
The CDC says to acclimatize yourself to the heat you will need about one to two weeks of progressive-load training. A fourteen-day plan will also do. (A half-a-mile run turns into a mile run, and then a one-and-a-half-mile run, etc.)
They mention the effects aren’t permanent. Once you stop training in the heat for a period longer than one week, you’ll need to start all over again, yikes.
Training in the heat could be beneficial to those who work in the outdoors, alleviating daily heat-induced stress and exhaustion. Your heart will pump better, and your body will be more likely to sweat easier and faster to cool itself.
Let us leave you with one last tip. If you’re sweating more, that means you need to drink more.
Water is your best friend when it’s hot out. If carrying around a sloshing water bottle isn’t your thing, look into a runner's water backpack.