June 20, 2017
THE LAST FEW weeks, Ireland has been experiencing great spells of sunshine and warm weather.
The past week alone, 28 degrees was hit in some parts of the country.
Throughout my summer series of articles, I have given you as much tips and advice with regard to how to go about your health and fitness the best way this summer.
From outdoor workouts and the importance of vitamin D, to the best things to do while away on your summer holiday, it’s all there.
My aim this week is to give you as much information on how to go about your exercise routine in the most effective and smartest way in this current spell of warm weather.
Over the last few years, I have worked and trained in warm climates. From working and being around athletes in hot and humid places from Florida to Bangkok, my pale Irish skin has learned a thing or two on how to go about an exercise regime the smart way.
Type of training
It’s great to see plenty of people out and about exercising while we have the nice weather. The parks are dotted with bootcamps, tag rugby events, park runs and yoga sessions most days.
The benefits of bringing your training outside are endless. Everything from getting a nice boost of vitamin D and topping up your summer glow, to keeping it fun, varied and effective is a nice change away from the gym floor.
If you are training in warm weather my advice is to listen to your body first and know how to go about your session the smart way.
On warm days, it might not be the best to be constantly doing high intensity workouts and ramping up your heart rate every session. Know when to slow down and change it up a little.
If you’re feeling a little burnt out, sluggish, tired or stressed, 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 am a little unsure and 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.
If you do feel that you are ready for a HIIT style workout, then you should consider the next point below — timing.
The timing of your workout should be looked at especially with temperatures hitting close to 30 degrees at the peak of the day.
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. The best time during these hot spells really is first thing in the morning when it’s a little cooler or later in the evening.
I have listed off all the healthy habits for the early morning riser and getting some exercise done is certainly one of them. Doing a high intensity piece during the peak midday sun might not be the best decision as it may only lead to dehydration, fatigue, injury or burnout.
This is a pretty obvious point but you will be surprised at the amount of people who are going about their day dehydrated. If you are unsure about whether or not you are dehydrated, then you could use a simple urine chart to measure what level you are at.
Drinking enough water and staying hydrated should be considered a priority in order to stay on top of your fitness goals, along with getting enough sleep and correct basic nutrition.
Some people think they need tailored training programs and certain supplements in order for them to get to their goal, but it’s the basics that you need to hammer home first.
On warm days like this, you really should be getting in at least 3 litres of water per day. Even the smallest drop in hydration levels in your system will lead to decreased performance, cramps and a big risk to injury and burnout.
Another important point that I picked up from working with athletes abroad in warm climates was having access to some form of electrolytes for your sessions. Sometimes water isn’t sufficient enough for performance on warm days and you need to bring in some electrolytes such as sodium and potassium.
Many sports drinks are a good option, or even adding sachets of Dioralyte or salt to your water works well for pre, during or post session. Your recovery from a hot summer’s day training session is quite important, and this is where I lead my next point.
For your post session it 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 equivalent to 1 kg 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.
It will keep you on track and will decrease the risk of a silly injury that possibly could have been avoided easily through basic simple recovery methods like getting the right fuel and rest on board.
The last point is to mention a couple of other items that may come in handy for a basic checklist to consider when training outside.
You can also see some of his previous articles here.