Get your sweat on: Working out in the heat
Just because the sun is blaring down on us this week doesn’t mean this is an excuse to drop the work-out routine!
Working out in the sun may seem like a nightmare idea to some but there’s always ways to get the most out of your exercise routine.
We spoke to fitness experts for their advice on how to still get a sweat on, regardless of the heat.
To start the day with a less intense burn, Shruti Srivastava, yoga instructor and founder of Yoga Mapp, said: “For a morning buzz of energy, I’d recommend dynamic or power yoga to help balance your day and kick things off on a positive!
“Sun salutations are a great way to not only generate heat but also wake up the body. With the heatwave it will be easier to practice the poses and enjoy the sweat!
A person doing a yoga pose on a beach
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“In the evening, I would suggest yin yoga, wearing light baggy clothing and a fan to keep you cool.
“Yin helps release fascia and break down connective tissue that builds up over time due to exercise or stress. Specific postures would be child’s pose, pigeon pose to release right hips and savasana to truly relax in this heat!”
Staying motivated to work out in the heat can be tricky but that doesn’t mean you can’t power through and get your work out done, suggests Shruti.
She said: “Live online classes are a brilliant way to stay active and to enjoy the slightly quieter sessions – more air time with your teacher to improve your own practice, whatever that might be.
“All of our live online classes are available at www.yogamapp.com, and can be done in the comfort of your own home, on staycation or even with headphones on in your local park.
“Staying zen during the heat is our top recommendation!”
If yoga isn’t your thing or you’re looking to keep up the intensity, health and wellness coach Emma McElhinney at Team EMW suggests: “Slap on some SPF and get outside – try something new!
“Even if it’s getting out to a hill or getting out to the beach for a walk or jog. Why not try paddle boarding?”
Although we may all love the heat, “the hot weather is not an automatic pass to be in a beer garden with an Aperol spritz and some nibbles,” says Emma.
She continued: “Working out when it is this hot can be really off putting. The good news is that if you’re a gym bunny, most have aircon. But for those of us who work out at home or in non-aircon environments, the question is how do we keep our fitness levels up and not melt?
“Fitness doesn’t mean hours in a sweaty gym all the time. Try taking your bodyweight exercises into your garden and pretending you’re in Greece!”
If you still want to work out inside and keep cool, Emma suggests doing more sets than normal but with less reps.
She said: “Where you might normally do three sets of 12 squats, why not try five sets of six squats? The same number of squats but a bit more recovery. Top tip – make your normal weight heavier!
“To keep cool, make sure to drink a lot of water. I suggest between two to five litres depending on gender, size and intensity levels. If you are sweating a lot or working out for more than an hour, try taking the tip of a teaspoon’s worth of salt and sugar to replace any lost electrolytes.
“I get it, it’s hard to motivate ourselves to get exercising. Remember your goals, why do you go to the gym? Positive headspace? Destress from work? Strength goals? Weight loss goals?
“It’s going to take you more time to get there if you don’t play ball. But don’t be afraid to mix it up! You can reach all of those goals by playing rounders with the kids in the park.”
Working up a sweat may not always be appealing in such hot weather but strength and conditioning coach at Character Strength, Alex Parry, argues: “If a little sun is all it takes to stop you training, you’ve got bigger motivation problems to deal with!
“With that said, the heat can be energy-zapping so your best bet during really hot sessions is to pick one or two really important exercises,
“Do them really well with plenty of intensity and then head home. So your sessions will be slightly shorter, reducing your total time out in the heat.”
In terms of what exercises you should be focusing on, Alex said: “There’s no huge need to change your exercises, however, you might want to increase the rest you take between sets. It tends to take a bit longer to recover fully in the heat.
“Where possible, train in the shade. If it’s not possible to train in the shade, try to take regular rests in shaded areas.”