A previous posted article, 5 Tips for Summer Fitness, has some great words of advice for summer training. These pointers are applicable in the summer year after year: 1. Start earlier, 2. Stay hydrated, 3. Eat lighter, 4. Be active in the evening, and 5. Get adequate rest. By using these tips you can beat the heat and stay active in the summer. Here are some more:
Stretch. I’m sure we all understand by now: stretching is important. However, stretching is even more important in the summer in order to avoid painful heat cramps.
Got salt? With all the reminders to stay hydrated, the electrolytes seem to have been put on the back burner. Electrolytes, essential minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium and sodium, are equally as important as fluids. While drinking an insufficient amount of water can cause dehydration, drinking too much water can dilute your system causing an electrolyte imbalance. This also can occur after you sweat because you’re not only losing water but a large amount of sodium. If you’re sweating a lot, it would be wise to replenish your need for sodium with a small salty snack or an electrolyte-enriched sports beverage.
Wear lightweight clothing. If you’re going to be in the heat, help your body control its temperature by wearing light clothing. Light clothes protect your body from direct sun rays and also allow quick evaporation for increased comfort.
Acclimate. As always, you should never suddenly increase your level of activity by a large amount. Especially in the summer, you should gradually build up your tolerance.
Use sun protection and insect repellents. Sometimes an early-morning run or a late night stroll just isn’t possible so the best you can do is wear sunblock. (It should be applied while you are dry, prior to sun exposure.) You also could find a shady area like a forest; however, you should be wary of bugs and apply an appropriate amount of insect repellent.
With these tips you should be able to train in the summer and safely avoid heat-related illnesses.