Don’t let those heat-drenched days of summer lower your activity level. These tips will help you stay motivated and on track with your health goals, even when the heat and humidity have everyone else parked in front of their AC.
Summer is here, finally! But staying active in the heat can be a serious challenge. As much as we all revel in that Vitamin D and sunshine, the corresponding heat can leave us feeling like a dead battery. But there are ways to conquer sluggishness and tackle those hot and humid days with intention and purpose.
Hydration is important year-round but on those 95 degree days it’s vital. When you are properly hydrated, you will feel your best. Research has shown that even mild dehydration can have adverse effects on your body including lack of energy and mood changes.
While it seems that just drinking when you’re thirsty is enough, by that point you are already dehydrated. Instead, aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water throughout the day, not just during your workout. Pro tip: look to your pee. The color of your urine can tell you a lot about your hydration status and overall health. A pale yellow color is what you should be aiming for, anything darker suggests a certain level of dehydration.
REMEMBER – SUGARY DRINKS ARE YOUR ENEMY
Sugary drinks always do more harm than good, even those “electrolyte packed” ones. While refreshing at first, drinks with high-sugar content can increase water loss in your body. Special attention must be given to sport drinks with sugar because they may make you prone to losing extra fluids. Instead consider this cool and refreshing Superfoods Coconut Water recipe.
AVOID THE HOTTEST TIMES OF DAY
Early morning or early evening are your sweet spot. It may mean waking up with the sun or getting in a run or bike ride after a full day of work, but it will be worth it. You’ll feel your most energized and won’t have to face the draining midday heat. If you do choose to workout during the day, consider heading indoors or try to find a shaded trail or area to exercise.
Moisture-wicking fabric will lighten your workout load, literally. While your college alum tee might be a favorite, it’s doing you no favors once it reaches saturation point. Moisture-wicking materials allow your body to cool itself down by sweating, while maintaining some level of comfort. Will added comfort help you put in that extra mile? Well, that’s on you.
CHANGE UP YOUR WORKOUT
Instead of hitting up your favorite trail during the day, why not switch it up and head to your local pool to swim some laps? Or head to your gym to try out an indoor spin class. Summer can be a great time to change up your routine and challenge your body in new ways, all while staying cool.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
If you take anything away from this article, this should be it: trust and listen to your body. Heat exhaustion happens fast, so understand your limit, track your water intake, and don’t try to push yourself past what’s healthy.