Cool off in summer

Keeping active in a hot country can be difficult but, it is possible. There are a handful of things you need to consider, however, before you take part in physical activities that could leave you dehydrated, and unwell. During the hot weather, you may lack motivation but, you need to remember that in order to reach your fitness goals, you should stay active throughout the year.

Pick your location

Exercising in the heat can be avoided depending on where, and when you choose to exercise. For an outdoor activity, try to exercise in the early morning, or late evening, when the temperature is cooler. You can use these times to swim, walk, jog, or cycle. Being active doesn’t have to involve intense exercise. You can walk your dog, or offer to walk a neighbour’s dog, or you can try gardening. Exercising outside might not appeal to you but, there are plenty of indoor activities to try where you can control the temperature. Try a new exercise class, attend a personal training session, or exercise at home, at HV, we can write you a program to follow at home.

Dress for success

To avoid overheating, you should aim to wear lightweight, and breathable clothing, because this allows air to help to cool your body. When choosing what to wear, take the colour into consideration. Lighter coloured clothing, will absorb less heat in comparison to darker colours. If you are outside during daytime hours, make sure you’re wearing a high SPF, especially on your face, and chest.

Hydrate before it’s too late

From personal experience, I sometimes don’t feel like eating a heavy meal but, you should aim to eat juicy fruit and vegetables, which will help your hydration. Around 20% of your daily intake of fluid will come from food, the rest should be from water. Ideally, you should be drinking 400-800ml every hour. We often don’t consume enough water during hotter days, simply because we don’t take into account how much we sweat, and the effect of the air conditioning.

Warning signs

Knowing the warning signs of heat exhaustion, and dehydration can be very useful. If you notice the following symptoms; dark yellow urine, dizziness, a rapid heart rate, and lack of energy, you are probably dehydrated. Drink coconut water or other electrolyte drink, to help increase your hydration levels. If you notice a weak, rapid heart rate, muscular cramps, dizziness, and heavy sweating, aim to get yourself in the shade or a cooler space because your body is overheating. Noticing these signs early can help prevent illness, and in worst cases, death. If you’re taking medications, you should check with your doctor that your medication doesn’t affect your response to heat. Some medications can slow down the body’s response to heat, so be particularly careful.