When temperatures soar, it might be time to look into alternative fitness ideas.
In many ways, staying fit in the warmer months is easier than when it’s cold. Warmer mornings and evenings, and longer light in the days makes it much easier to get active rather than contending with that freezing darkness and the desire to rug up indoors.
The warmer months lend themselves to outdoor activity so half the fitness battle is already won. With this in mind we must look to the other end of the spectrum which is can it be too hot to train?
When we train in the heat, our sweat output increases in order to try and cool us down. In turn, the body increases blood flow to the surface of our skin, which increases heart rate. Your heart works harder to pump the blood around our body, making the relative intensity of the exercise increase.
Being aware of the dangers of training in the heat is important. These dangers include heat stroke, dehydration, and exhaustion however choosing the right time of day to train may help you to train safely even though the thermometer is climbing high.
“The right time to train depends on goals of each individual. If you wanted to keep out of the strong sun, don’t train between 11am and 3pm,” says elite trainer and co-owner of F.I.T, Scott Reynolds.
When the sun is too strong and the temperatures are soaring, it may be time to take your workout indoors. The strong willed may even be able to work out at home.
“I find the lounge room not an ideal place to work out. There are way too many distractions, kids, TV, other housework to do. If it’s your only option and you have strong discipline there are hundreds of exercises you can do without equipment,” says Reynolds.
Your local gym is likely to be air-conditioned, which may be a better option if you’re easily distracted at home or you like to attend group fitness sessions. Another activity to consider is hitting the local pool for some laps, as swimming is an efficient way to train.
“Swimming is one of the most effective forms of exercise. It’s low impact on our joints and uses the whole body for rapid calorie burn,” says Reynolds. And, it keeps you cool.
In many areas of Australia our summers are long and hot and sometimes training in the heat is unavoidable. If your goal is simply to maintain your level of fitness, consider avoiding the hottest part of the day and stick to the early mornings and late afternoons.
It can still be very warm at these times so always listen to your body. If you feel nauseous, fatigued, light headed or disoriented stop immediately. Ensure you drink plenty of water to keep hydrated, and look at not training as hard as you would normally and just wait until the cooler weather returns before resuming your usual regime.
If you move somewhere with more extreme temperatures than you are used to, do not despair, your body will acclimatise over time, however, keep a keen eye on symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke and take it easy for a few weeks until you adjust.
5 exercises you can do in the heat:
- Spin class indoors
- Early morning outdoor yoga
- Find a workout online to do at home
- Early evening run or walk