Fitness Fix

Heating up your workout
Summer 2014: Heating up your workout
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May
Burn the calories without overheating

Summer in the Ozarks brings heat and humidity. Just because the weather is heating up doesn’t mean your fitness routine has to be tabled until cooler temperatures come. With the proper precautions, and some creativity, you can continue working out even when the thermometer soars.

If you’re going to exercise outdoors, it’s likely that you’ll have to adjust the time of your workout. Make checking the weather part of your daily routine. Use the hourly forecast to find the coolest part of the day. Some days that might mean getting up early to beat the heat, on other days, the lower temperatures might be in the evening.

When exercising outdoors, remember that the heat and humidity will put extra stress on your body. Take care to stay hydrated—drink water every 15 minutes, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Dress appropriately—light colors will keep you cooler than darker ones. You might even want to invest in some moisture-wicking clothing to help stay cool. Remember to ease into your workout, as well. Give your body more time to adjust to the heat by slowly increasing your intensity.

Changing your workout is another option. Instead of planning to do sprint drills, take advantage of the outdoor temperature and engage in some “hot” yoga. Jump in the pool and swim laps. Running during a rain shower is a fun way to get your run in and keep cooler.

To keep your water nice and cold for the duration of your workout, fill a water bottle ¾ of the way and then freeze it while it is partially on its side. Make sure it is on an angle and that the cap end isn’t totally covered with water. Right before heading out, fill the remaining space with cold water.

You can also make an ice towel to help cool off. Wet a washcloth or dish towel, fold it and place it in the freezer for a few hours. Before your workout, fill a plastic zipper bag with ice cubes and place your frozen towel inside. Then you can reach for your frozen towel as needed for a cool down and simply place it back in the bag to keep it cold.

Another choice for cooling down is a misting fan. These fans can easily be found at discount or sports stores.

If you’re planning on bringing the little one along in the stroller for a workout, make sure he/she stays cool, as well. You can use a frozen gel pack wrapped in a dishtowel to make a wonderful climate control backrest for your little one. It’s squishy so it isn’t uncomfortable to lean against, and because it’s frozen, it’ll keep baby nice and cool for the duration of your workout. Another option is to purchase a clip-on fan for the stroller.

The heat of summer is not the time to push yourself to the limits. Listen to your body—if you experience weakness, headache, dizziness, muscle cramps, rapid heartbeat or nausea or vomiting—STOP. If you aren’t feeling better after resting, drinking water, and getting cooled off, seek medical attention. Make sure you’re familiar with the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Remember that while you can exercise in the heat of summer, you need to do so safely.

Remember, if you’re working out outside, be sure to put plenty of sunblock on you and your baby, as well as a sunhat, if he/she is with you.

Glynis Nelson
About author:

Glynis Nelson is the owner of Go Momma Fitness Springfield, which provides fitness classes for moms, such as Momilates, Stroller Moves, and HIIT It. She holds prenatal and postnatal exercise certifications and is certified in group fitness by American Council on Exercise. Glynis resides in Springfield with her husband and four children.

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