July 3, 2018

fitness

How to train safely during spells of warm weather

SUMMER HAS WELL and truly arrived, and it’s been brilliant to see so many people out and about enjoying the sun over the last few weeks.

As anyone who regularly reads my columns, I am a big advocate of bringing exercise outdoors and it really does give you a boost when you can get outside and enjoy a workout, walk or jog in glorious sunshine.

Over the last few weeks, I have given you advice on how to maintain progress with regards to your health and fitness goals over the summer months, and in this article, the focus is on how to best go about it during the warm weather we’re currently enjoying.

Here are a couple of things to keep in mind.

Venue

At this time of the year, and especially over the sunny spells, I always encourage clients to take their training away from the gym — the benefits of doing so are endless.

You not only get fresh air and a nice boost of Vitamin D, but it’s important to vary things and stepping away from the gym floor is a change which should be welcomed.

When choosing a location to train, there are so many options from walking or jogging in your local park or beach, or you could take part in a structured event such as outdoor bootcamps, tag rugby tournaments or even yoga sessions.

Clothing

It’s pretty common sense but the key here is comfort. You don’t want to be wearing any heavy clothes, particularly the ones you use during the cold, winter months.

Training in this warm weather can be tough work and you don’t want to make it any harder on yourself so wear training gear which is light, easy and comfortable to wear.

A hat, sunglasses and a dollop of sun cream is also important if you’re out in the sun for long periods.

Pre-workout

When and what you fuel on prior to your hot summer’s day session is important.

Ensuring that you are hydrated over the course of the day itself is, it goes without saying, so important during the summer in particular. If your unsure then you could use a simple urine chart to measure what level you are at.

Sometimes water isn’t sufficient enough for performance on warm days and you need to bring in some electrolytes. Some sports drinks are a good option, or even adding sachets of dioralyte or salt to your water works well for pre or post session.

The workout itself

On warm days, it might not be wise to constantly do high intensity workouts every session — know when to slow down and change it up a little.

If you’re feeling a little burnt out or sluggish on a warm day then that session should be treated as an active recovery one, or even a full rest day.

Doing things like a basic stretching session, some yoga or even a light walk would be a good call here.

On days that I want to control the intensity of my sessions, I wear a basic heart-rate monitor to ensure I don’t go overboard with the overall intensity, and keep an eye on my heart-rate zone throughout the session.

The time of the day when you do your workout should be looked at especially with temperatures hitting close to 30 degrees this week.

Remember, our bodies aren’t used to this warm weather, so what you really should do is try to pick the best time of the day to train and weigh up what is the best form of exercise plan to work off on that particular day.

The best time to exercise during these hot spells is either first thing in the morning or when it’s a little cooler in the evening.

Post-workout

Iit is important to measure your weight and sweat loss before and after your session if you are finding yourself training in the heat of the day. The simplest way to know how much you need to drink to recover is to weigh yourself before and after your session.

1 litre of sweat is roughly the equivalent to 1kg of body-weight loss. You need to drink 1.2 -1.5 litres for each kg of weight lost during exercise.

Other forms of recovery after a warm day’s session are cold showers, ice baths or even a dip in the sea.

If you stay on top of your recovery, it can only lead to you being able to continue on with the rest of your sessions that you have planned for the rest of your week or month more effectively.

David Last is a personal trainer based in Dublin. For more information you can follow him on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. Or you can send him a direct message here.

You can also see some of his previous articles here.