As much fun as June, July, and August can be — filled with sun, sand, and relaxation — it can also making working out outside a tad more difficult. Depending on where you live, the humidity and/or outside temperature can be unbearable and at times unsafe — making it difficult to plan workouts.
Even though I don’t live in Arizona or Florida — where temperatures can be a lot hotter, the New Jersey heat in the summertime can still be pretty brutal. I’ve never done very well in the heat (I passed out on my Kindgergarten trip to the farm when it was 100 degrees, haha and have also had bad experiences in races with heat. I’m sure many of you can relate).
However, you don’t have to completely forgo outside workouts when the temperatures outside are intense. Try to follow some of these steps:
1. Dress for the weather. Obviously, you wouldn’t go running in a jacket and leggings in the heat, but it is still important to pay attention to what you are wearing (for guys and girls!) so that it doesn’t get in the way of your workout. Go for lighter colors and looser fabrics — and shorts that wont ride up or bother you at ALL (since you will probably be sweating more!) I like to wear spandex bottoms (sometimes my JL racing bottoms) and loose, cut t-shirts or moisture-wicking tanks.
2. Hydrate before, during, and after. Be sure that you’re sipping cold water (or an electrolyte-enhanced beverage) before and after your workout. Try freezing a GU gel and having it a few minutes before you start. It tastes so sweet and is very cooling and refreshing! If possible, a fuel belt or water stop on a long workout in the heat is beneficial (albeit not always realistic).
3. Have a post-workout snack ready. Be sure to re-fuel after your workout! The heat puts added strain on the body, so have some items ready in the fridge before your workout. My favorite post-workout snack is cold fruit or a banana almond milk smoothie (there will be a post later this week on this!).
4. Schedule your workout when the day isn’t at its peak temperature. Kind of a given, but running at noon or 1 PM on a 100 degree day with intense humidity is not the smartest idea — especially if your body doesn’t usually respond well to heat. Try for the morning or evening, when the temperature may not be as intense.
5. Listen to your body. Even if you’ve followed all necessary steps to have a successful workout in the heat, there may be times where your body won’t listen. It’s okay to push yourself, but listen to your body (especially in the heat)! There’s no shame in stopping or cutting a workout short if you’re really feeling dizzy or out of it.