Depending on where you live, you may already be feeling the effects of the summer heat. If your workout is based outside, you may find yourself wondering if you should change it up to accommodate the coming heat. But does that mean you're giving in to the weather? Won't you get the most out of your workout if you're performing under tougher conditions? Maybe, but if the temperature spikes and you aren't ready for it, you could actually be hurting your performance. Here's why you should take some basic steps to change up your workout when the thermometer tops out this summer.
Why make a change? Even if you're at the top of your game, a dramatic change in temperature can pose problems in your workout. Working out in a hot environment that you aren't used to will increase your body's core temperature. This increase can actually reduce the endurance capacity of your muscles, increase your body's reliance on carbohydrates for fuel, and compromise aspects of your cardiovascular function.
So what should you do? You have to give your body time to acclimate to the heat, and once it does, you'll be able to train harder and more effectively. That doesn't mean you need to completely change your workout, but there are some easy and effective ways to acclimate your body.
- Instead of heading inside to run on the treadmill, change your workout times to the morning or evening, when temperatures aren't as brutal. If you can't change the time of your workout, reduce your duration or intensity until your body gets used to the heat. You can even try little things like choosing a running route that provides plenty of shade on the sidewalk. Most people should become acclimated to the heat after a week or two of training.
- Drinking more fluids is also key. Always make sure you're drinking water before, during and after your training. Drink fluids even when you don't necessarily feel thirsty, and try a succession of small drinks, rather than a few huge glasses of water.
- Also remember to take into account the humidity in the area where you're training. A humid environment keeps sweat from evaporating off your skin, which is actually what cools us down, not the sweating itself. So if you live in an area known for humidity, don't forget to check the heat index to see if it's safe for you to train outside at that time.
Like we said before, your training will go smoother if you give your body time to adjust to the heat. Trying to push yourself and keep the same routine when conditions change is only going to disrupt your training, and can even be dangerous.
After any workout, indoors or out, you want to recover and get back to work as quickly as possible. So try a Promax protein bar today. They've got all the protein you need to get your body performing at its peak.