You’ve looked forward to summer weather all year, now that’s it’s finally here, don’t let the temperatures keep you from staying active. While those on the west coast need not be so worried about things like air conditioning or temperatures hovering around 30 degrees, those of us in Ontario know by now that temperatures are a factor to consider when we exercise. We’ve no interest in heat stroke and sunburns, so we’re sure to be more mindful about little things that together make a big difference. Below, we share our tips for fighting the summer sun, and staying active in the heat. Enjoy!
Get an early start
Easier said than done, we know, but those early morning runs or rides are always the most rewarding. It’s quiet, not too hot, and you get the roads or trails all to yourself! Also, when you exercise before breakfast, and you’ve fueled your body appropriately the day before, you burn stored fat and go into your day with an increased metabolic rate. You’ll be burning calories hours later as you sit at your desk, not bad, right? However, the best part of getting out bright and early is that the sun is still rising and the temperatures are still mild.
You’ve heard this one before, but we really cannot over state the importance of proper hydration for active people, especially in the heat. A 5% decease in hydration can lead to a 20% loss in productivity. Sweating is a mechanism for cooling the body down and the higher our body temperature, the more we sweat. However, sweating is also a process which works to dehydrate us. As we become increasingly fit, our bodies become more responsive, and we sweat sooner into our workouts to regulate our body temperatures. In addition to drinking lots of water, it’s important to replenish your electrolytes, too.
Protect your eyes
Protecting your eyes is especially important for those individuals who remain active year-round. Glare from the snow makes skiers vulnerable, while extended exposure to sun when unprotected makes people who spend extended periods of time outdoors in the summer, like cyclists, hikers, and runners, vulnerable too. While wearing a hat when you run, or a helmet with a visor while you ride is great for keeping the sun off your face, it’s important to protect the sensitive skin over and around your eyes. Wearing UV protected sunglasses, year-round is important for sustaining eye- health.
Cover your head
When you’re out for that day hike or afternoon run, wear a hat. When you’re out on your bike, where a helmet (though we hope that’s something you’re doing already!). The crown of your head is an area that is particularly vulnerable to sun. This is especially true for men, who typically have less hair to cover their heads and ears. Wearing a hat in the sun is not just for children.
Light in colour and light in weight is key; skip the black cotton t-shirts this summer. Stick instead, to clothing that is breathable and has some sweat-wicking technology built into it to. Pearl Izumi and Sugoi have a great line-up of active wear to keep you cool and covered.
Hot temperatures and sweaty, dehydrating workouts mean our bodies burn more than the would doing the exact workout in milder weather. Proper fueling is always important, though the details are going to change based on your goals, as well as the kind and duration of exercise you choose. What you consume before your long rides or runs is fuel, it’s important to have the right kind and the correct quantity.
What are your favourite ways to sweat in the summer? We're trying to spend more time riding and running outdoors. Summer always flies by and we're eager to spend as much time outside as we can.