Posted on July 31, 2019 by Emily Forbes

It felt like it took a while, but I think we can all agree summer is finally here. With scorching temperatures and high humidity, training in the heat can be hard and potentially dangerous if the right precautions aren’t taken. Now I know it is tempting to sip Pimms in the garden instead of a gym sesh but you worked all winter to get that summer bod! At least try and maintain your gains (and losses). Future you will thank you for it. So here are some tips to help you keep cool in the heat.

Training in the heat:

  • Stay hydrated. We are already losing a lot of fluids through usual sweat rates and of course exercise increases this. Start your training session already hydrated and sip water throughout. We also lose salts through sweat so try adding in some electrolytes if you’re training particularly hard or if it is super hot and sweaty. You can get some great tasting zero cal tablets which you can add to water. Milk is the perfect post-workout drink, filled with electrolytes and protein. Swimming is a great way to stay cool in the heat but remember you can still get dehydrated and sunburnt if you are outside, stay protected! Also, be very cautious if you are planning a workout after a night out.
  • Keep an eye on the weather forecasts so you know what weather to expect. Try to plan a session in the cooler, earlier part of the day. Especially try to avoid midday sun! Race events will be cancelled if the weather temperatures are too extreme.
  • Ease back on your sessions. The body is already under a lot more stress when exercising in the heat. Don’t put yourself and risk by making it a heavy session. Also, if you are new to fitness it will be more challenging for your body, reduce the intensity and take frequent breaks.
  • It’s nice to get outside when the weather is so nice but try to exercise in the shade where you can and wear sun cream.
  • Wear appropriate clothing. Light colours which don’t absorb the heat and also lightweight or sweat-wicking performance fabrics. A sports cap will also keep the sun off the face.

Warning signs of heat-related illness:

  • Weakness
  • Light-headed
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Paling of the skin
  • Headache
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Excessive sweating
  • Confusion
  • Visual problems

Stay cool. Stay smart. And keep training.

Emily x