With the Treasure Valley heat, working out can be a challenge. You may feel that blanket of high desert humidity descend on you and lose motivation. Or, if you do get yourself out the door for that run, walk, or bike ride, you may discover it’s hotter than you realized and find yourself suffering. The highs are supposed to be just under 100 degrees for most of the week here in the Treasure Valley. Here are some tips to help you keep up with your workout schedule when summer temperatures begin to blaze.
First and foremost, look for an indoor facility. Your local gym or YMCA is a great place to work out no matter what time of year. You’ll be protected from the elements no matter how hot, or cold, it is outside. Once you’re inside, you can really focus on your workout, instead of talking yourself out of it because it’s so hot.
If a gym membership isn’t an option, due to expense of location, don’t worry. You can still get your sweat on without succumbing to the heat. If you must work out outside, be sure to start early or late. You’ll want to avoid the middle of the day, which is between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. here in the Treasure Valley. That way, you’re working out during the cooler hours and not pushing your body in the worst heat of the day. Early morning is really best, because you know you’ll get it done, and you won’t blow it off if you’ve had a long day at work or it’s still too hot outside later in the day.
If you’re going out for a run or walk, try to choose a shady path. Look around your neighborhood for the best shade. Also, wear light-colored clothing that is loose fitting. Natural fibers like cotton are the best for breathability, but they can get heavy if you sweat a lot. High tech fabrics, such as those used for Under Armor and similar products, are also meant to wick moisture away from your body to keep you cool and dry.
Keep yourself hydrated. Drink water every 15 minutes. You may find that you need an extra water bottle at this time of year. Be sure you’re getting plenty of fluids in order to prevent dehydration and heat exhaustion. Do not skip this very important part of your workout. Be sure to drink plenty of water before and after your workout, as well as throughout the day.
You may also want to up your intake of sports drinks, to help manage electrolytes and prevent cramping. Water is best, but a sports drink can give you more flavor, which means you might drink more, and they can help you replace fluids your body loses during a workout.
Wear a hat. That keeps the sun from beating down on your head and making you feel even more exhausted. It also keeps your scalp from getting burned. A ball cap will do. Look for one with mesh on the sides to help air circulate.
Consider breaking up your workouts. If you usually run for an hour, can you do 30 minutes in the early morning, and 30 more in the evening? Or would a brisk walk do the trick instead of a hard run? How about a few laps up and down the stairs at your workplace on your lunch hour? This might be a good time to try some of those indoor classes you’ve been thinking about like yoga, kickboxing, or Pilates. Think about what works for your schedule and get creative.
Swim. Use one of Boise’s municipal pools or another facility to get a workout in the water. Or try water aerobics, which can give you a great workout using your body weight as resistance in the water.
Bike. Riding a bike not only saves some wear and tear on your joints, it’s a nice way to get a little breeze on a hot day. Check out the Boise Foothills trails or just cruise around your neighborhood.
Don’t forget the sunscreen. Protect yourself against melanoma by layering on the sunscreen before you go out. It’s worth the two minutes it takes to slather it on and rinse your hands.
Listen to your body. If you feel dizzy, faint, or overheated, stop immediately. Get some rest, find some shade, hydrate, remove any excess clothing, and rest. Protect yourself from heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Talk it up:
How do you stay fit in the summer heat?
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