Now that the sun is shining (finally!), many of us are making the most of the nice weather and taking our training outdoors. But with the temperatures soaring and set to continue well into August, it’s important to be aware of how to stay safe when training in extreme heat.
Whether you are going for a run, taking your barbell and plates outside for a heavy session or completing a sweaty circuit, here are our top tips to training safely in the heat.
It goes without saying that if you are sweating more, you will need to stay on top of your hydration. As we exercise, our body’s core temperature will naturally increase resulting in us losing bodily fluid through sweat and the heat will increase this further. Be sure to drink plenty of liquids before, during and after a workout, particularly if you have sweated a lot. For shorter workouts, bring a 500ml bottle of water with 120 to 180mg sodium and sip regularly to help replace the salts that are lost when you sweat. For workouts over 60 minutes, ensure you drink plenty before the workout and again after you are finished. Sports drinks contain electrolytes like sodium, chloride and potassium which are lost through sweat so consider these during and after a workout.
Check out the BLK BOX Chilly Bottle, a leak-proof, double walled vacuum insultation bottle designed to keep drinks cool for up to 24 hours.
Even when it’s not sunny, sun can still make its way through the clouds. We recommend a sweat resistant, broad spectrum SPF 30 minutes before going outside. Don’t forget missed areas like the tops of the ears and lips.
Clothing is our first line of defence against the sun’s harmful UV rays and protects us by absorbing or blocking much of this radiation. It’s best to wear clothes made from lightweight fabric and cotton blends to keep you cool in the heat. The more skin you cover, the better – long leggings offer more protection than shorts and a long-sleeved, collared top covers more skin than a t-shirt.
Try to wear clothes that are well-ventilated and ideally have sweat-wicking properties to keep you feeling cool and comfortable. Our range of gym apparel has a variety of breathable, sweat wicking and highly ventilated options, designed to keep you cool during your workout.
It can be tempting to wait until the sunniest part of the day to go outside, but it’s best to avoid training during the hottest hours of the day, usually between 10am and 3pm. Where possible, try to train early morning before the temperatures start to soar, or if you’re not an early bid then opt to train late evening when the sun starts to set. If you have to train in the hottest hours, consider training indoors or try to stick to the shade outdoors where possible.
It’s probably not wise to try and aim for a new PB during a heatwave. Stick to what you know and split your training session up if you can, or lower the intensity of your workout. If you begin feeling dizzy, faint or nauseous, stop immediately, get indoors and drink plenty of water. If symptoms do not improve, seek medical attention.