Hey – remember back on January 1st when you made that resolution that THIS was the year you were going to lose weight / get back in shape / train for that 14er? Well, we assume you’ve been killing it at the gym and on the Stepping Stone trails ever since, right? RIGHT?
Well now that it’s summer, you’re most likely taking that workout outdoors. And why not? Colorado summers are the best – so many warm sunny days! However, that sunny weather also brings a lot of dry heat. And if you’re not careful, you could get dehydrated, dizzy, and possibly even injured. We can’t have that happen so here are some pointers for exercising in this Colorado heat.
Rule #1. Dehydration can cause dizziness, stomach cramps, and headaches. And since we live in a particularly dry climate, you should always carry water with you when you set out. In fact, drink a glass or two of water before you even leave the house and drink again when you get home. Carry a bottle of water or a hydration pack (like the ones in your backpack) and scout out any places ahead of time that would have water in an emergency, like a nearby gas station or restaurant. It’s also a good idea to keep emergency water in your car.
TAKE A COLD SHOWER
It seems weird to shower before a workout, but a German study found that a pre-workout cooldown improves performance in the heat. Leave your hair wet for additional coolness. If showering isn’t feasible for you, try cooling your head and neck with an ice pack instead.
STICK TO MORNINGS / EVENINGS
The time of day you work out is important. Avoid exercising between 10am and 3pm because that is the hottest part of the day. If it’s going to be a scorcher that day, definitely exercise in the early morning hours. If you have to run in the afternoon, wear a hat and find the shady spots. If you’re cross-training, maybe switch to swimming laps in a pool on a hotter day.
INVEST IN THE RIGHT CLOTHING
You definitely want to wear lightweight, breathable, and wicking materials this season. They’ll pull moisture away from your skin and cool you off. Wearing a hat to keep the sun rays off your head also helps. If you’re biking, consider wearing a helmet with deep vents to provide a breezy airflow.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
This is so important. If you’re feeling dizzy, faint, or nauseous, take it down to a walk and/or find a shady spot to cool off in. Pushing yourself in the heat rarely has a happy ending. If you don’t reach your mileage or elevation that day, it’s okay. Tomorrow’s another day.
Please follow these tips as you rev up your summer workouts. We want to see you hit your exercise goals but only if you do it safely! And remember, you can always come cool off post-workout (and the subsequent post-shower) in our competition-sized pool at the Lantern House.