Can you take the heat?
Now that it's July and summer seems to have finally arrived, I'm loving being out in the sun and taking advantage of the longer days. How can you not love this time of year? Even though I love the summer, though, I'm not great when it comes to tolerating the heat, especially when I'm working out. Running particularly has a habit of giving me brutal headaches if I do it in what my body considers too hot a temperature (this is generally a level of heat that my brain definitely doesn't think of as too hot and most normal people would laugh at... like 22C and my body starts to go 'nope, no running for me, thanks!').
I actually feel like this guy when I run and it's too hot!
Anyway, as the temperature soared yesterday it got me thinking about ways to beat the heat when I'm trapped in the city, rather than enjoying the sun at the beach (which is where I *wish* I was!).
So here are a few of my faves to help you enjoy the heat a bit more, and still get your workouts in.
1. A hat. Always. Even when it's not that warm out, I like a hat for workouts because it does double-duty keeping my hair out of the way and keeping the sun out of my eyes. When the sun starts really beating down in the summer, a light-coloured hat also keeps my head cooler -- since I've got really dark hair, running hatless would mean a super-heated scalp for sure!
2. Shade. When I can, I change my routes and my workouts so I'm in shadier spots like parks, or I'm running on the shady side of the street. This one isn't always possible but it definitely helps.
3. Change your workouts by season. Summer is a great time to enjoy the huge benefits of swimming. If I'm not training for a particular run and don't absolutely have to get in the miles on my legs, swimming is the perfect solution. Great for all-around fitness and usually cheaper in summer if you've got a local pool or Lido -- and it means you don't have to head to an airconditioned gym and miss out on the gorgeous rays and that all-important vitamin D!
4. Frozen fruit. We all know that fruit is great with its sugar and water content for rehydrating in the summer. BUT even better, I love to freeze my fruit and use it in two ways. First, I just like it as a snack! Frozen grapes are a fun, refreshing and crunchy snack. Second, I'll chuck it in a water bottle (my current favourite is my Infruition bottle, because it has a handy fruit infuser plus a handle -- so clever! -- but there are loads of other options on the market). Not only does the frozen fruit make the water taste better, it'll keep your drink cold longer when you're out in the heat.
5. Early or late. If you can, try to change the time of day you're out for a workout. Early mornings before it gets too hot are great but seriously, do I look like a morning person to you!? I'm not going to say it's easy to get up that hour earlier, so late works too. In the spring and fall I'll sometimes run home from work, but when it's hot out I'm more likely to head home first and have a light dinner before getting in some yoga or maybe a run. Don't get me wrong, going home does sometimes make it harder to head back out, but when I do I know that it'll be less gruelling and I'll perform better because it'll be at least a few degrees cooler.
Are you a hot-weather person? What do you do to keep fit and keep the heat at bay?