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You've got the goods. You've got the gear. But just as you're ready to head out the door, you spot the temperature and think "how am I going to train in this weather?!" We've all been there before, trying to make the most of an outdoor workout only to feel setback by the temperature.
But how do you exercise in heat? Keep reading on to see how you can accomplish your best workout ever — regardless of the temps.
Vital Note: This article has been made available for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Your licensed healthcare professional can best provide you with the diagnosis and treatment of any medical condition and assist you as well in deciding whether a dietary supplement will be a helpful addition to your regimen.
Why is it harder to exercise in heat?
In the summer months, the heat and humidity can take a toll on the body. As if working out wasn't challenging enough, exercising in the heat simply adds extra hurdles. These include dehydration and heat-related illness which coincide with sweating, sun exposure and ultimately not being acclimated to the rising temperatures.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to beat the heat and make the most of our workout. According to Mike Michalski, certified personal trainer and Owner of Variant Fit, it comes down to being prepared.
"All of that physical activity, sweating and soaking up the sun means that I have to keep my body fueled, hydrated and energized," he says.
How should you adjust training in hot weather?
Giving your body the best chance for workout success comes down to the prep. Here are a few things to try to set yourself up for success.
Hydrate: When it comes to training, especially as temps rise, consider water your BFF. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) recommends drinking 17 to 20 oz. of water two hours before the start of exercise, 7 to 10 oz. of fluid every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise and 16 to 24 oz. of fluid for every pound of body weight lost after exercise. One thing that can help with rehydration? Sodium.
Our recommendation? Add Hydration** + Collagen to your water bottle to up your hydration game.
Additionally, a pre-workout drink, like Vital Performance™ PRE, can be a game changer®. Made with collagen, it rounds out the amino acid profile with BCAA (branched-chain amino acid) to provide more complete proteins to boost sport performance.**
Snag More Zzz’s: Sleep deprivation is a condition affecting more than one-third of American adults, according to the Sleep Foundation. Think this could be you?
"You're probably more irritable, have trouble focusing and find yourself crashing toward the end of your day. Add in those hot and humid summer days, and you’ll be feeling that fatigue even more," says Michalski. "Try to make it a point to get at least seven hours of sleep each night. It won’t take long for you to feel the significant impact of such a small lifestyle change."
Dress For The Weather: Nix long-sleeves, thick materials or anything too restricting. Try loose, breathable clothing that has moisture-wicking capability and is light-colored. Looking for some new gear to meet these needs? Check out our Vital Proteins® Merchandise to rep your fave blue tub brand in workout gear that's designed to keep you cool.
How do you exercise in heat?
While there is no "quick remedy" to make working out in the heat easier, the number one thing you can do to help is be aware of how your body is feeling.
"I always find that during the summer months I have to pay close attention to how I'm fueling up each day because of the extra toll the heat and humidity takes on my body,” says Michalski.
Already in a workout and starting to struggle? This is when it's important to listen to your body and adjust accordingly.
"If you're feeling a little sluggish during your workout, back it down a bit and don't be afraid to cut it short," Michalski says. "Rest up, recharge and get back after it tomorrow!"
Why are some people more affected by heat than others?
Of course, not all individuals are created equal during their workouts. And, there can be several reasons why some are more affected by the heat than others. These factors may include age, medications you may be taking, caffeine consumption, current fitness level and any other pre-existing conditions, according to the Mayo Clinic.
As always, you should consult with a medical professional before starting a fitness regimen — especially one that includes working out during hot weather.
How can I safely exercise in heat?
The sun is beating down on you, you're sweating hard this is okay, up to a point. If you're going on a long run, carry a water bottle with you. Try planning your workouts to avoid the hottest part of the day (typically around 3 p.m.) and when you do go out, find a shaded place. Always wear SPF.
Once you start to feel ill or experience muscle pain, it's time to take a step back. It's important to recognize the signs of heat-related illness so you can react accordingly.
These signs include:
- Cold, pale and clammy skin
See this chart created by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for more information. Call 911 if you or your workout partner experience symptoms of heat stroke.