How to Hack the Heat; Best Tips for Exercising During the Summer

Lauren Yates5 Minute Read, Blog, Exercises

Although summer in the UK is pretty unpredictable, and normally rather disappointing, it is still important to understand how to prepare for training in the heat. Many of our clients at pgpt travel and continue training abroad, and occasionally the UK challenges us with a hot and humid heatwave. So what should you do to hack the heat and continue training safely?

Listen to Your Body

If you are feeling dizzy, thirsty, lightheaded and have dry mouth chances are you are dehydrated and need to drink more water.  Symptoms including nausea, excessive sweating, fast breathing and cramps can indicate heat exhaustion/ heat stroke. Being aware of these serious conditions can help prevent them in the first instance.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking enough water will ensure your body replenishes the fluids lost when sweating in the heat and will help to prevent dehydration and heatstroke. When working out in hot weather, it is advised that you drink 1 cup of water every 15-20 minutes. Drinking at shorter intervals is more effective than drinking large amounts infrequently.

Another method for increasing water intake is to eat more fruit with a high water content. Below is a list of the best hydrating fruits-

Fruits with high water content:

Watermelon – up to 91% water
Strawberries – up to 91% water
Grapefruit – up to 91% water
Peaches – up to 89% water
Blackberries- up to 88% water

Plan Workouts Carefully During Hot Temperatures

Train sensibly and avoid the hottest time of the day, don’t train in direct sunlight. Many people find training outside too unbearable in extreme heat and may prefer to train indoors with the air conditioning on/ windows open.

SPF 50!

Yes 50. This will protect you from 98% of UVB rays and help to prevent sunburn . Sunburn can actually cause heat exhaustion and a number of symptoms such as headache, nausea and fever like chills.

Swim/Cycle/Golf…

According to the heat index of course. There are risks associated with training in the heat, however if you are sensible and take precautions why not take the opportunity to do more outdoor sports? That being said, make sure the heat is not too intense. Any hotter than 32 degrees Celsius is really too hot to be training outside, extreme caution would be needed. When the temperatures are high, there is an increased risk of serious heat-related illnesses.

Wear Light Clothing

Make exercise more bearable and wear lightweight clothing, thin materials. This will keep you cooler. Use natural fibre fabrics; cotton, linen and silk work best in absorbing sweat and allow the skin to breath. Synthetic fibres retain heat and poorly absorb sweat, increasing your body temperature. Also it is well known that the colour of your clothing can impact how hot you get, Black is the ultimate heat absorber. It absorbs all light on the visual spectrum. So maybe opt for a white T-shirt…

Cold Showers Before and After

It is advised during heat waves that taking a shower before you train can actually help you to stay cooler during. This process is known as pre cooling, especially effective before cardio. It is said to help increase the body’s capacity for prolonged exercise at higher intensity levels.

You May Wish to Finish with a Cold Shower Also

The cold water will instantly reduces your core temperature, which will make your body work harder to warm itself back up by pumping blood around a lot faster. This cold water submersion process is also known to speed up your metabolism helping you to burn calories at a faster rate.

Stay safe and enjoy the warm weather… whilst it lasts!

Lauren Yates

Personal Trainer at PGPT
Lauren’s passion for fitness started from her background as a competitive swimmer, to which she competed at a national level. She has an in-depth understanding of the nutritional, physical and psychological factors that help you to achieve your goals. Her sporting background also promoted creative bodyweight and circuit training to improve strength, power and speed , experience that she applies to her training sessions. Qualified for 3.5 years, she has succeeded in helping clients achieve ambitious transformational and life changing goals.