Hey Angels and Alphas,
The hot summer months are usually the time when we can easily up our activity level by trying new activities or just spending more time walking outdoors. But as the temperatures go up and up, extreme heat can bring its own set of challenges, especially if you’re someone trying to increase your step counts.
Here are 7 tips you can use to stay on track with your weight loss walking routine during the hottest months of the year…
#1 WALK EARLY OR LATE DURING THE DAY
While a lunchtime or even late-morning walk can be a great idea during the spring and fall, the sun’s UV index tends to be the highest between 11am and 1pm during the summer. Add in the rising temperatures during that day, and it can be easy to see why early mornings and late evenings become a much better choice for exercise.
And not to mention, getting your workout in first thing in the morning will also make it much less likely that you’ll skip your walk altogether. Exercising early in the day also means your metabolism can be boosted, while a walk during the evening can aid your digestion. If you opt-in for a walk in the evening, try closer to 8 p.m. when the sun is starting to set.
#2 IF YOU TAKE LONG WALKS, PLAN AHEAD
If you plan on walking for more than an hour, you should choose a route that allows you to refill your water, stay in the shade, and take a break somewhere in between.
There’s also the option to drive to the route beforehand, stash a water bottle in your car, and then go back to your car if you’re one of those people that just hate carrying along water bottles everywhere.
#3 MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT GEAR
Spandex leggings and cotton T-shirts aren’t the best choices for hot weather since they trap sweat and heat. Instead, try investing in light-colored shirts, tank tops, as well as shorts made of moisture-wicking fabrics.
They will keep your skin dry, help you cool off, and not to mention, they’re much more comfortable. It’s also a great idea to wear sunglasses or a lightweight hat so you can shield your face and eyes from the sun.
#4 ALWAYS LOOK FOR SHADE
Not all neighborhoods are blessed with shady trees. That’s another reason why wearing lighter colors in the summer is a plus. If you’re doing your walks, make sure you’re always passing through the shades to decrease your sun exposure, even if this means you’ll have to drive to a place like a park where there’s more shade.
If you can get away from asphalt (it’s a natural heat retainer,) that’s for the better. Walking on hilly terrains has also been shown to burn more calories, meaning you won’t have to walk as far as you normally would have to while still achieving the same weight loss results.
#5 WEIGH YOURSELF OFTEN
You want a quick way to test your hydration levels? Weigh yourself before and after a workout. The golden rule is for every pound you’ve lost in the post-workout weigh, that’s about 16 ounces of fluid. To ensure you’re staying adequately hydrated, aim to replenish that and add 6 ounces on top.
A few pounds of weight loss after a long workout can be completely normal. If you’re not seeing drops, chances are you’re not hydration as much as you need to be.
#6 GET SERIOUS ABOUT YOUR HYDRATION
Summer is no time to play around when it comes to hydration. If you’re planning on walking more than 30 minutes during hot weather, it’s essential that you carry a water bottle or even a hydration pack.
Staying hydrated helps your overall health, performance, and your efforts to lose weight. You might also want to consider bringing a beverage that’s rich in electrolytes as they’re important to replenish after you lose them (via sweating.)
#7 SPLIT UP YOUR WORKOUTS
Are you into long-distance walking? Do you like to get all your miles in at once? Well, this can be extra difficult during the summer… especially if you’re not exactly an early riser. Instead of trying to suffer through two-hour walks in the heat, try breaking it up and walking half the distance in the evening and the other half in the morning.
Another way you can split up your workout is by putting one session outdoors and another session on the gym treadmill.