The UK has seen a start to summer like it hasn’t in a long time, and the majority of our population are celebrating this by basking in the sun, enjoying all the World Cup, Wimbledon and cricket excitement that’s on offer. However, for those of us not quite beach-body ready, or those that simply enjoy staying active, it’s important to stay safe during the unusually high temperatures.
It’s best to exercise in the shade, and if not, be sure to apply sun cream regularly to avoid being burned to a crisp
Perhaps the most important thing during the heatwave: water. One of the biggest health risks during high temperatures is dehydration. If you’re planning on exercising in hot weather, be sure to drink plenty of water. The human body is composed of around 50-60% water, and it’s vital this amount is maintained. It’s estimated that we tend to lose about 2 to 3% of this water during typical exercise, especially on hot days. So, if you’re heading out for a run, be sure to take a bottle of water with you!
Not drinking enough fluids when exercising vigorously and sweating heavily can cause a heat injury, ranging from mild heat cramps to heat exhaustion to heat stroke, a medical emergency. Staying cool during exercise is vital. One way to remain cool is to plan your outdoor activities during cooler periods of the day; typically, the hottest part of the day is from 11am to 3pm – so during this time it’s better to find some daytime TV to enjoy and exercise either in the morning or evening. Let’s not forget that hot weather comes with scorching sunlight. While some of us may be out for getting a tan, it’s best to exercise in the shade, and if not, be sure to apply sun cream regularly to avoid being burned to a crisp.
Whether it’s in an indoor swimming pool or a lake, swimming is a great way to exercise whilst staying cool in the water
Once you’ve laid the SPF 50 on thick, remember to dress right. Consider adding a few additional pieces to your summer workout wardrobe. Wear breathable, lightweight, and light-coloured workout clothing. This will allow your sweat to evaporate and keep you cool. And to quote every mother ever, don’t forget to wear a hat! Dressing right can not only help you stay cooler during your workout, but also help avoid skin irritation and heat rashes associated with extra-sweaty exercise sessions.
Now, let’s talk sport. Some sports become a lot more popular once summer begins, helping people to stay cool. Swimming is probably the best sport during a heatwave. Whether it’s in an indoor swimming pool or a lake, swimming is a great way to exercise whilst staying cool in the water. Alongside swimming, there’s surfing, diving, and water aerobics just to name a few, so if you’re near a body of water or sports centre, why not give one of these a go?
Trust your own body, if you feel dizzy and too hot, stop exercising, rehydrate and seek medical attention if necessary
It may seem counterintuitive to turn to winter sports in the summer, but indoor sports like ice hockey or speed skating require a cool temperature to keep ice frozen – so for this you may even need to get your thermals out! If none of these sports seem appealing to you, there are always air-conditioned gyms available.
Whatever sport you end up picking, remember to stay cool and safe. Trust your own body, if you feel dizzy and too hot, stop exercising, rehydrate and seek medical attention if necessary. A heatwave doesn’t have to interfere with your fitness regime as long as you’re well prepared. Be sure to make the most of the nice weather though, because knowing this country, it’s highly unlikely to last.