Hey Angels and Alphas,
For countless people out there, whether they’re on a weight loss journey or not, the hot weather this time of year causes a shift from jogging on the pavement to hopping on a treadmill at the gym where the AC is on full blast.
But sometimes, taking your sweat sessions outdoors in the heat can come with serious health perks – if you do it correctly.
There are many aspects to training in the hot weather that make it potentially more challenging and more beneficial when it comes to improving your fitness.
This is because your body has to work harder, therefore reaching fatigue more quickly. But, as time goes on, hot-weather workouts can actually improve your cardiovascular fitness, athletic performance, and overall health.
If you’re ready to get your sweat on, let’s talk about how you can safely start training in the heat and why it could even be a better option for you:
How can I safely start heat training? And what are the benefits?
If you’re new to training in the heat, here’s everything you need to know: slowly turn up the heat and intensity so you actually give your body time to acclimatize.
Your body needs some time to adjust to new environments, and by giving it this time, you can reduce your risk of overtraining and heat exhaustion.
Instead of diving directly into your highest-intensity exercises at peak heat, you can start with shorter, high-intensity evening and morning workouts when the weather is not as hot outside… and make sure you get enough breaks in. After that, slowly add more lower-intensity workouts as the temperature rises.
To beat the heat, you have to stay properly hydrated and fuel up adequately (before, during, and after your workout.)
Wear clothing that’s as light-colored and as loose as possible and don’t forget to add sunscreen. If you start experiencing muscle cramps, dizziness, or weakness, this can be a sign of dehydration.
It can actually take you up to two weeks to fully acclimatize your body to the heat, so take things slow and make educated choices on when to go outside.
But now that you know how to ease into hot-weather workouts and do them safely, let’s talk about why you might want to try them out:
- THEY’RE GREAT FOR BUILDING ENDURANCE
Fun fact: when your body sweats, the perspiration that’s on the surface of your skin will help keep you from overheating. This perspiration comes from plasma, the liquid substance in your body that is used to transport red blood cells.
When you exercise in the heat, you’re forcing your body to adapt to be able to cool off more quickly by essentially increasing your stores of fluid to pull from. Because of this, your body starts retaining the fluid it requires so it can deliver oxygen to your muscles… so tough workouts begin to feel much, much easier.
- THEY MAKE YOUR HEART STRONGER
Training in the hot weather does more than just improve your body’s cooling system, it will also allow your heart to start pumping more blood with each beat which lowers your resting heart rate.
Since hot-weather training challenges your heart, it actually has the most beneficial effect on cardiovascular exercises such as running or walking (rather than usual strength training workouts which shouldn’t usually be done in hot environments.)
A great place to start here is with team sports – football, soccer, volleyball, even Frisbee! In the hot weather, they are fun and engaging, and they provide you with enough breaks to rehydrate.
- THEY TECHNICALLY BURN MORE CALORIES
Your body has to work harder in the heat. That’s why hot-weather training burns more calories than you otherwise would if you did the same workout in cooler weather. That being said, you will also tire out more quickly in hotter conditions… so make sure you choose an activity you actually enjoy.
Go for a bike ride. Do a park workout. Or try a team sport. All of these can be fun and engaging activities that will get your heart pumping but will also allow you to stay inside the intensity levels you want. If you usually prefer to hit the hills and train in cooler weather, do a hike during a hotter, shorter route and you can effortlessly start easing your way into hot-weather training.