Cardio workouts in the summer can bring many rewards, but can also pose challenges due to hot weather, especially here in the Texas Panhandle.
That’s not to say that you should avoid cardio workouts because of the heat, but you do need to take certain precautions to avoid potential dangers, such as dehydration and heat exhaustion.
CHECK THE TEMPERATURE
Taking your cardio workout outside into the midday sun isn’t a good idea. For one, your body needs to acclimate to higher temperatures; experts suggest giving yourself 10 to 14 days of exercise — at 10 to 15 minutes of exercise per session — to gradually reduce your risk of heat exposure. Avoid cardio outside from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. when temperatures and humidity are at their peak.
It’s always important to remain hydrated during exercise, but particularly vital when you’re working out in warmer temps. Even mild dehydration can have negative effects on your body. Some experts suggest drinking half of your body weight in ounces of water a day, including eight ounces about 20 minutes before an outdoor workout.
Your summer workout attire should include lightweight, breathable and light-colored clothing that allows your sweat to evaporate and wicks it away from the skin. You should also consider wearing a hat or other form of headwear (try headwear with SPF) to block the sun’s rays. Materials that enable you to stay cooler during your workouts will also help you avoid skin irritation and heat rashes.
ALWAYS APPLY SUNSCREEN
You’re probably already taking precautions by applying sunscreen to your face and exposed skin of your upper body, but take care not to neglect your legs. Studies have shown that the lower leg is particularly vulnerable to the sun’s most harmful rays, and a common area of the body for women to develop skin cancer. Other areas of your body you may be missing are your scalp, ears, and the back of your neck.
One way to battle the effects of summer heat is to pre-cool yourself prior to your workout by taking a cold shower or by drinking an icy beverage. Research has shown that pre-cooling can even boost your workout performance.
HAVE SALTY SNACKS AVAILABLE
Salt depletion is more prevalent during warmer temperatures and is a factor that can lead to heat exhaustion. Electrolytes lost during the sweating process need to be replaced with snacks and drinks which are high in sodium and potassium.
Summer CARDIO TRAINING IN AMARILLO
When you want to beat the Texas Panhandle heat and work out someplace cool, come down to the Amarillo Town Club! The ATC provides outstanding indoor cardio facilities for fitness-minded individuals and families, or those just starting their fitness journey. The ATC is family-friendly and offers members great value for their money. Contact us today to learn more about our membership benefits and to take a tour of our modern cardio workout areas.