5 tips to keep your body energised, fueled and exercise ready throughout the summer!
Hi everybody, my name is Sam Bourgein. I am physiotherapist working for Willis Street Physiotherapy at Victoria University and have a background in sports and exercise science, elite sports, private practise and the National Health Service across the pond in the UK. I’ve been in New Zealand for four months now; just in time to be completely puzzled by a roasting hot festive period….not that I’m complaining though, who doesn’t prefer a singlet to a rain mac?!
I love keeping myself and my patients active and would love to take this opportunity to give you guys some summery solutions for keeping you moving throughout this fab summer we’re having a the mo!
Tip 1 – Hydration
It was always going to make the list so lets get this topic out the way swimmingly! When we sweat we need to rehydrate more to avoid cramping, fatigue, exhaustion or even heat stroke. Since our bodies are approximately 60% water and we loose somewhere between 2-3% of this during typical exercise; it is essential that we maintain this balance.
Drink little and often throughout the day; approximately 30ml for kg you weight. If expecting to embark on one hour of exercise you would add roughly 1L throughout the day, possibly more if exercising in extreme heat.
You can test you level of hydration by looking at (not tasting!!!!) your urine. If pale yellow (light lemonade) then you’re all good. If it’s resembling apple juice or your favourite pint of scrumpy cider then drink more!
Post strenuous exercise opt for trusty water or perhaps coconut water, which is known to be a rich source electrolytes. This can be used to prevent dehydration and is essential to promote recovery in your muscles and nervous system. Avoid marketed “sports drinks” which are often high in sugar contents and calories…. Not ideal if your purpose for running is weight loss or control!
Tip 2 – Clothing
Do you remember that film Borat? Ever thought his mankini might be a good ‘go to’ for those long harbourside runs after work? You’re actually not wrong! Professor George Havenith of Loughborough University in England says the most effective way of staying cool in the sun is to allow sweat evaporation. Unfortunately however this nakedness would lead to skin burning and secondary complications (not to mention a lot of calls to local police stations).
Instead, avoid thick layered clothing that will hold sweat and increase your body temperature. It is the evaporation of sweat that will cool you down not its production so opt for lightly coloured loose-fitting cotton or polyester fabrics that is breathable a light.
Tip 3 – Timing
Keep an eye on the weather forecast and if it’s set to be scorching then consider an early morning or work evening workout. You can still benefit from all that glorious vitamin D and warmth but without the risk of fatigue, dehydration and a sluggish recovery – especially if you are not attuned to training in these temperatures.
You should be keeping an eye on the sun’s intensity and humidity levels, both of which are at their highest level at midday.
Tip 4 – Adapt your training
If you’re used to training in cooler temperatures then take it easy at first and allow your body to climatise. You may begin to notice that you begin to sweat more rapidly or that your sweat becomes more diluted but take notice on your perceived exertion. If you feel you are in control then good going, if not then listen to your body and change it up by decreasing your exercise intensity and/or finding shade.
Tip 5 – When to go inside
Key symptoms to look out for are;
- Heavy sweating
- Muscle cramps
- Darkened (remember that scrumpy?!) urine
- Increased pulse
- Rapid or shallow breathing
Should you have experienced any of the above then it is a good idea to consider avoiding exercising in the heat of the sun and give your body time to recover. Should these symptoms persist then it is a good idea to seek advice from your local GP.
In the midst of high temperatures and humidity perhaps opt for an indoor workout, either at home or in a cool air-conditioned gym. This means you can maintain the intensity of your normal workouts without the added risk of heat stroke or dehydration.
Alternatively… try your hand at some pilates or yoga which is less intense in increased temperatures.
…so you’ve decided to take no notice of anything I have mentioned so far and so you’re now resembling that crispy bacon on the side of your favourite fry up…. HOW DO I COOL DOWN!?
- Run cold water over your forearms and stay until you feel great again!
- Using a water spray on your skin whilst fanning yourself.. either with a towel or pan fan
- Apply a cold neck wrap to your neck, forearms or armpits
- Go swimming!!!
Enjoy the wonderful summer we’re having guys, stay active but stay safe! 😊