We're into week 3 of the Summer Body Challenge and it’s time to turn up the heat!
Although working out in sweltering temperatures may be the last thing on your mind, you might want to have a rethink, because exercising in the heat can have big benefits.
When it’s hot outside, your body works hard to keep you cool and maintain a steady temperature, so when you exercise in warm temperatures your body needs to kick into overdrive and burns more fat and energy to cool itself.
The warm weather also opens up a whole load of potential activities to mix up your workouts; you can go for bike rides, long walks, games in the park, outdoor jogging or running, swimming in the sea on holidays.
Don’t go overboard though. If you experience dizziness, muscle cramps, weakness and headache, stop exercising. These are signs of heat exhaustion, which can be treated by getting to a cooler place and drinking cold fluids.
Here are 5 tips to get your summer workout sizzling:
1. Drink lots of fluids
It’s important to stay hydrated during exercise any time, but especially in warm temperatures. Your body will sweat more, and this will increase during even mild exercise like walking, so make sure you replace the fluids you are losing or you will run the risk of dehydration. Drink water about an hour before working out and rehydrate after your workout.
2. Don’t eat protein before working out
Eating protein can increase your core temperature which, when working out in warm temperatures, could cause heat shock. You are much better off reloading on protein after your workout.
3. Do lower your core temp before working out
Drinking ice-based drinks about an hour before exercise or having an ice cold bath or shower can lower your core temperature, which will help your maximise your performance and delay the effects of the warm weather on your body.
4. Do get outside
The sunshine won’t last forever, so make the most of it while you can, because before you know it it’ll be dark and cold again.
5. Don’t forget sunscreen
Protecting yourself against sunburn, sunstroke and harmful UV rays is really important and people often neglect the most basic protection, which is sunscreen. Even when it’s cloudy, overhead UV rays can still be damaging to your health, so don’t underestimate the power of the sun.
Your Trainer: Graham Low, owner of East Coast Fitness, is an award winning personal trainer based in Seaham.
The ex-professional footballer was nominated for the Small Business of the Year and Leisure Awards at the Sunderland Echo Portfolio Awards last year.
Graham won the Leisure Award at the North East Hotels Association Awards while working as gym manager at Seaham Hall in 2012.