But with summer flashing by quicker and quicker every year, I definitely think I need to make the most of it before it’s time for me to be reaching into my wardrobe and pulling out that winter coat.
I absolutely love the hot weather. I can easily spend hours sunbathing, and even being up and active in the sweltering heat doesn’t really phase me that much.
My boyfriend is a different story altogether. It’s as if he’s been specifically designed to withstand the freezing cold, which is fine for 90% of the time in England, but presents a few issues on those rare occasions that the sun decides to make a welcome appearance.
As someone who is extremely competitive, full of energy and cannot stand taking even a single day off training, he absolutely hates that slow, lethargic feeling that comes on when London starts to overheat.
When your life and career revolve around the gym, there’s no way you’ll stop working out just because it’s a few degrees hotter outside – but you also can’t just plough on without taking your surroundings into consideration. Here are a few really important things to keep in mind if you’re training for a smoking hot body in a sweaty, sticky city:
1) Drink plenty of Water
It sounds so unbelievably obvious, but the amount of people who say to me that they know they don’t drink enough water just goes to show that we still need to be reminded of just how important it is to stay hydrated. We should be drinking between 2-3 litres of water per day (2 for women, 3 for men, give or take). This helps to regulate the body temperature and maintain the balance of bodily fluids – which is particularly important when exercising and in high temperatures simply because the amount of fluid lost from the body through sweat is increased.
2) Warm up
The number one rule of a safe session is to warm up effectively, but it’s easy to forget to give yourself a proper warm up when you’re sweating before you even make it to the gym floor. However, just because you feel hot on the outside, doesn’t mean that your muscles are sufficiently warm to cope with the stress placed on them during a workout. Remember to mobilise your joints and get some blood going to your muscles every time you train.
3) Cool Down
You might feel like there’s no point cooling down if it’s super hot outside anyway, but cool downs are possibly the most important part of a safe workout. Your body needs that time of light exercise and stretching to bring down the heart rate, regain control of the body temperature and break down the Lactic Acid that has built up throughout the session. Make the most of your muscles being extra warm to do some developmental stretches and increase that flexibility.
It’s easy to lose a bit of an appetite when it’s sweltering hot, but your muscles will seriously struggle if you don’t replenish them with nutrients after you’ve been exercising. Eat enough, regularly. If it’s going to be some time before your next meal, have some lightly salted snacks like crackers, nuts or popcorn to replenish the salt lost in your sweat.
5) Get up early (or stay up late)
No particular health benefits as such, but if you train early in the morning or later in the evening then you’ll avoid the hottest part of the day. Plus, if you get it out the way at 6am you can spend the afternoon and evening basking on some nice roof terrace bar somewhere…
6) Accept the heat.
Training in the heat is tough, without question. People don’t pay extortionate amounts of money for things like Bikram Yoga because it’s a walk in a park, but because it’s a challenge, and a difficult one at that. Don’t put yourself down if you struggle doing something that normally isn’t an issue – chances are you’re not going as fast or lifting as much, but because of the conditions, you’re actually working just as hard.
7) Keep it Snappy
It can be difficult to sustain long periods of exercise in the heat – try doing short bursts of high intensity exercise, followed by a short rest period. This will still get your heart rate up and your muscles pumping but won’t completely drain or fatigue you.
Most fruits have an extremely high percentage of water, so it’s a great snack option to help rehydrate you following your workout. It’ll also give you a boost of energy from natural sugars and help to replenish your stores of essential vitamins and minerals. Make a tasty smoothie, prepare a handy fruit salad or just grab an apple as you dash out of the door.
9) Take it outside
Being outside when it’s sunny is one of life’s little pleasures, so make the most of the weather and train somewhere other than your gym. Go on a cycle ride around the park, and grab a resistance band for some outdoor strength training. There’s also loads of handy calisthenics parks in London (try Battersea Park, or Clapham Common) but they do get very busy the moment the weather starts to improve.
10) Be Smart
Exercise common sense – a good workout is supposed to burn, but if you are physically burning then it’s probably time to stop and go inside. Summer is a great time to experiment with new things outside of your regular routine – so if you feel yourself getting lightheaded then why don’t you skip the gym a couple of times and go swimming or try out an outdoor yoga class instead?
Going on Holiday but running out of time to get your beach body on point? Read my latest guest post on the AMAZING Lattes n Lipstick for a step by step pre-summer one-week workout.
Have a great weekend!