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Handy Heat Wave Health Tips

 

Keeping active and healthy during the summer months can be particularly
challenging. Our Instagram feeds are filled with summer body goals and ads
come flying in with the latest swimwear trends, but maintaining your usual
fitness regime seems so much harder as the temperatures begin to climb. Even
thinking about those sweaty runs and overheated at-home yoga sessions is
enough to tempt us to ditch the fitness and become a professional sunbather.

Summer is seen as the final goal - the season that we all want to feel beach
ready for, and although we should see summer as a time to reap the rewards
of our hard work, keeping up the good habits we adopted before the heat
waves began is not as difficult as it may seem.

Dressing wisely, altering your exercise patterns, and ensuring that your diet
remains exciting and balanced as new foods come into season are just some of
the ways to ensure that your healthy lifestyle goals remain achievable - even
when the sun has firmly got his hat on.

The team at Elissa & Stef would like to offer you some of our top tips for the
warmer seasons, thus helping you to stay motivated and seize the new
fitness opportunities whilst the weather is our best friend.


Dress for Success – Tip number one is one for the fitness fashionista in all of
us. A new season means new activewear, and there is nothing quite as
satisfying as pushing your thermal running leggings to the back of the drawer
and pulling out your favourite pair of cycling shorts or loose tank top. When
planning your heat-wave outfit, it’s best to opt for lightly woven fabrics that
will allow the skin to breathe whilst you work out. Light colours and looser fits
are also preferable as they minimise the heat absorbed by your clothing and
ensure that your body can move and sweat freely.
 

Time it Right – A forward-thinking tip to keep up your fitness in the summer
months is to time your workouts to coincide with the coolest hours of the day.
Check your local weather forecast the night before and identify the hottest
period in the day, this is usually between noon and 3pm. Early in the morning
and towards the end of the evening are the cooler periods as the sun is either
rising or setting which means it is easier to find a shady spot. Avoid exercising
when the sun is in the centre of the sky and exercise when shade can be found
in outdoor spaces.
 

Hydration Station – It goes without saying that hydration is key no matter
what time of year it is. However; during the imminent heatwave season, it is
important that you take short water breaks at intervals within your workouts
as well as before and after. If you’re a runner or cyclist, invest in a small water
bottle that is easy to carry with you and take regular small sips throughout. If,
like many of us, you’re doing your HIIT classes from home, then have a glass of
water by your side to sip on during rest periods. After all, summer means
sweat, and you have to put in what you sweat out!
 

Adapt to your surroundings – If you’re from the UK, it is likely that you have
stopped mid-workout to think ‘how do they train for marathons in Australia?’
or ‘do they really play football outdoors in Qatar?’. However; it is proven that
your body can learn to acclimatise and adapt to the heat over time. This means
that if you’re used to working out indoors with air conditioning or outdoors in
cooler temperatures, you have to give your body time to adapt. Take it slowly
at first until the heat no longer becomes a restrictive factor and gradually build
up your workouts as your body adapts to the heat.
 

Reduce Your Load, but Stay Committed – Summer should also be a time for
relaxation, BBQ’s, and soaking up some golden rays. Reducing the frequency
and intensity of your workouts should not be condemned but rather
encouraged as cutting back on calorie burning doesn’t have to mean failure.
Stay committed and dedicated to a workout schedule, but also give yourself
some days off. When you’re travelling or have time off work/education, you
should keep up a light routine, but don’t push yourself. Marathon trainer Ryan
Bolton says that two weeks of running only 40 percent of your usual mileage is
enough to pick up where you left off once the weather has cooled down again,
so maybe reduce your workouts to 3 days a week or exercise more leisurely.
 

Know the Heat-Related Symptoms – The usual aches and pains and feelings of
breathlessness are unfortunately here to stay even when the sun is out, but
there are also some more severe heat-related symptoms that you should look
out for! The absence of sweating with a hot, flushed face, light-headedness,
nausea and dizziness are all heat-related side effects that you should keep a
close eye on. If you begin to feel sick, overheated or weak whilst exercising
then it’s time to take a break in the shade with plenty of fluids. Don’t push
yourself and know your own body, if the heat is too much, then you’ve not
failed if you take a quick break to recuperate and rehydrate.
 

Snacks, Snacks and More Snacks – Although the heat can make us lose our
appetite, snacking on healthy produce is a great way to keep up energy levels
throughout the day. Watermelon, Mango, Strawberries and Grapes are all
examples of healthy snacks that can keep you going and if you’re feeling
adventurous, buy some re-usable ice-lolly moulds and fill them with 100% fruit
juice or natural yoghurt. Tomatoes, Apples and Cucumbers are also snacks
which have a high water content – perfect for maintaining that optimum
hydration level
 

Try Something New – If you’re a gym bunny and you usually exercise indoors,
then a heatwave is the perfect opportunity to try something new and explore
the great outdoors. Team sports with your friends and family are a great idea
and even going for a hike or ditching the indoor pool for some outdoor
freshwater are good ways of soaking in the sun and burning fat at the same
time. If you like your current routine, then try taking your YouTube workout
into the garden or local park to freshen up your work out experience.
 

At Elissa & Stef, we believe that fitness and wellbeing don’t have to be
seasonal. Learning to adapt your fitness regime to the summer sun can be a
fun and exciting challenge, not to mention an excuse to order a new bright
gym set.

These tips can ensure that your summer body is maintained even throughout
the summer, but that’s not to say we don’t encourage the odd ice-cream or
day off in the sun lounger too!

Please ensure that you wear an appropriate level of SPF if working out outside.
Also, stay cool and hydrated as mentioned in our top tips, but most
importantly, #BeFearless.
 
 
Author: Ellie-Jo
(Blog Writer for Ellissa & Stef)
@elliejoj

1 comment

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