With summer in full effect, it may seem like every day is a good day to work out. Indeed, outdoor workouts are great summertime perks. However, there are some drawbacks to working out in the heat. In order for you to maintain the body you've worked hard for all year, here are some common summer exercise blunders and tips on how to avoid them.
1. Coffee Before a Workout
I have to admit that when I read about this blunder I thought to myself, "who on earth drinks coffee, tea or any hot beverage on a hot summer day?" However, there are people who do and they have found out the hard way that water is a much better option for hydration before a workout. Coffee or any high-caffeine can drink act as a diuretic to your body, causing more fluid loss than normal when you consume it before a workout.
Avoiding this mistake is easy; simply drink water before your run or workout. Be aware that cooling your body before a workout is a good idea. The cooler the water, the more your body can get out of your workout.
2. Getting a Late Start
If you're one of those rare breeds who loves to work out in the morning, then this tip is for you. Putting your workout off by even an hour in the morning is not the best idea. Why? In the summer, temperatures go up much earlier in the day. So, doing your workout later puts you at risk to overheat and cause damage to your body. Counteract this mistake my getting plenty of rest at night and continuing your morning workouts (yes, even on the weekends) as scheduled. If you must work out later, try working out in the late evening when the sun is on its way down and temperatures are cooling off.
3. Not Wearing Spandex
OK, you don't have to wear tight, form-fitting clothes in the summer to get a good workout. Most people would prefer to wear loose fitting clothes in order to allow their body some ventilation as they sweat through their intense workouts. However, if you're prone to chaffing, then mixing loose fitting clothes with summer sweat can lead to an uncomfortable situation after the workout is over. Choose clothes that are balanced; fitted but not overly tight or too loose will stave off chaffing. Wearing spandex under looser fitting workout clothes is another way to stop that pesky problem before it starts.
4. Eating Less After a Workout
This seems like a catch 22 because we workout so we can have less of an appetite and lose weight. However, when working out in higher temperatures, you not only need to replenish your water supply, but your food (aka energy) supply as well. The best way to re-fuel is to eat within 30 minutes of working out. Sure, the hotter it is outside, the less you may want to eat large meals. But keep in mind that you don't have to eat a large meal to replenish your energy. Something as small as one hard-boiled egg and a handful of carrot sticks is enough to keep you going after a workout. Also, a homemade smoothie or whey protein shake is a great way to get your body hydrated and re-fueled.
5. Bringing Sand to the Beach
The title of this tip really has nothing to do with the shore and everything to do with the sea. When doing pool workouts, a large number of people forget to drink water. They may mistakenly believe that being in water is as good as putting water in their bodies. A workout is a workout, though, and being in water is not the same as hydrating with it.
Also, it is important to note that while an individual is in water, it's harder for their body to expel heat. Thus, the threat of overheating during a pool workout is elevated when compared to doing a workout outside of the pool. How can you counteract being overheated in the pool? Drink water and plenty of it.
6. Wearing Dark Colors During a Workout
Ladies, I know we all love a little black slimming number. Most of us have that little black dress that makes us look great when we hit a night on the town. But, a workout is not a night on the town and wearing dark colors during our workouts will only make you hotter.
Instead, opt for lighter colored clothing that reflects the sun. Black and dark colors are heat absorbing and will be sure to make your workout much harder. Pastels and other colors are great for working out, and with summertime in full swing, they are fashionable as well. Additional Tips:
- If you like working out with your man, make sure he puts a shirt on. Sure, he might have a great body, but if he's exercising outdoors for an extended period of time shirtless, he's likely to get sunburned. While some sunscreens provide sweat protection, a shirt coupled with sunscreen will provide much more sun protection.
- When cycling, make sure to wear a helmet. Your hair shouldn't be your primary concern when biking—and a helmet can be fashionable. Even if you have a plain undecorated helmet it will provide all the necessary protection in case of an accident.