THE summer holidays are in full swing, the clothes are getting shorter and there are less
THE summer holidays are in full swing, the clothes are getting shorter and there are less of them, the nights are warmer, longer, happier and the air has changed — but have you?
Exercising in the heat of the day has always been quite controversial. Why would you want to push your body in the sweltering midday heat unless you were trying to acclimatise for a sporting/professional event?
However, most people will find themselves feeling fitter in the warmer months as we head into the garden more often, enjoy long walks, get out on the bikes with the family, and go swimming. In general we eat less, drink more fluids, and enjoy being outside and eating the fresh seasonal fruits.
If you must exercise in the heat of the day then my advice is to be sensible. Make sure you have lots of water with you and find shady areas to work out in. Build up slowly and wear as little as possible, always keeping good ventilation around your body.
Grab a hat and sun cream and make sure you are well fuelled with food and drink. You could consider a sports performance drink to increase electrolytes which aid the water absorption rate and replace those lost in sweat.
Take it steady to start with and build up over a couple of weeks. Make sure you build up the intensity, time and type to get your body to function properly in the soaring heat. Things to be careful of include:
l Getting dehydrated early on in your summer training can lead to an electrolyte imbalance which could give you muscle cramps, potentially severe stomach cramps and should be treated by restoring the salt balance in your body. Replace these stores with sodium-containing drinks or foods.
l Fainting. Always cool down gradually after a workout to allow the blood flow to slow at a steady rate. This prevents the blood flow being interrupted as it travels through from your legs to the brain.
l Occasionally the excessive water intake dilutes blood sodium levels giving symptoms such as headaches, disorientation, muscles twitching. This is a condition known as hyponatremia. If this is you after a three- to four-hour run or training session, seek medical help immediately.
l Heat stroke. As previously stated, it is best to not exercise in the heat of the day. Staying hydrated with water and sports aids drinks throughout the activity is of the utmost importance. If you do find yourself feeling like you have a headache, you are nauseous, vomiting, with a quick pulse rate and you are disorientated, then seek medical help immediately.
If you would like some support over the summer, I am happy to chat to you by email and can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org. See you in September and enjoy the summer. Travel safe and enjoy yourselves!