Posted on July 12 2018
When it's too damn hot out in the summertime, and you're sweating five minutes into your workout, it can be tough to stay strong and push to the end. This is the case for both indoor and outdoor workouts in the Summer's heat. Just think of how steamy those indoor Spin and HIIT classes can get, and how humidity can be a killer on those morning runs. Luckily, there are a few ways to prepare for these temperatures and keep yourself motivated when you're losing energy.
Drink Before and During the Workout
Always hydrate before a workout, but then drink throughout, too, to keep your energy up and your body balanced. You want to stay ahead of hydration versus chasing it, as that's where it can leave you susceptible to heat exhaustion, early fatigue, and even heat stroke in extreme cases.
While the exact amount [to drink] for you will depend on several factors, the daily recommendation is eight 8-ounce cups of water per day. You'll need more if you're working out regularly though, especially in the heat. So, during your workout, try to consume at least eight ounces every 15-30 minutes.
Do Interval Training
Keep the workout short and divided into intervals. This will keep you motivated but also allow for breaks. Here's an example: pick eight exercises and complete a four-minute Tabata of each exercise, she says, where you're doing 20 seconds of 110 percent effort followed by a 10-second break. During this break, you're able to cool down slightly to avoid getting too hot, and it brings in some variety to stick with it.
Practice in the Heat
Expose yourself to those hotter temperatures to build tolerance. Take your workout to a hotter environment one or two times per week to better condition yourself overall. You will then find that you are able to endure more when indoors and conditions are ideal. So, maybe it's doing a warm-up outside before getting into your main workout, taking your runs outdoors twice a week, or running a lap or two around the block in between HIIT circuits.
Make It a Game
Turn an outdoor workout into a game and use your city's geography to set workout goals. Think like: "How fast can I run to this landmark?" or "I can take a break once I reach X location, set of burpees after the short break. The playful aspect will give you immediate goals throughout your workout and keep your energy up.
Keep a Damp Towel Nearby
When you're training during the summertime, especially outdoors, overheating is a serious issue that you want to avoid at all costs. To help with temperature regulation, I suggest taking a damp towel with you while you work out. You can pat your face down or drape it over your neck periodically to help you stay cool while you train.
Enhance Your H2O
Nothing wrong with water, but for extra-lengthy workouts in the heat, you might want some added power. When you sweat, you lose more than just water. You also lose electrolytes, which are important for optimal performance! And when your electrolyte stores become depleted, you'll start to lose energy.
Sipping on an electrolyte-enhanced or BCAA-enhanced beverage during your workout can help. Suggest a low-sugar powdered electrolyte drink, however, because it serves its hydrating purpose without adding a lot of extra calories you have to account for.