Dare I say that the sunshine is upon us and here to stay (for the near future at least according to forecasts!). However, with the sunshine comes heat, and an increase in intensity for working out, so here is my guide to training at home in the heat with minimal risk of injury, overheating or dehydration!
As a fitness enthusiast and personal trainer, I start to notice a difference within my own training once things start heating up, as well as a difference in my clients performance levels. It's not that they've lost cardiovascular fitness, they're just less used to performing in warmer climates when the summer first hits. For this reason I scale back a little on our sessions at first - my own too - in order to allow our bodies to adapt. Once we become more used to training in the heat, exercises can go back to "normal", and adaptions in our fitness can continue.
It isn't always necessary for every single session to be 100% maxed out... we need time to recover, and regressing exercises slightly can help. I ensure to plan sessions around my clients individual fitness levels and needs, and also consider the time of day that they are training; sessions earlier in the day are obviously cooler compared to early evening sessions.
I would suggest where possible to ensure that you are training in a shaded area - direct sunlight may cause dehydration from excessive sweating during the session, as well as increasing the chance for sunburn, or even sunstroke. A little bit of sweat won't hurt of course, but be careful no to "over-do" things. In addition to this, fluid intake is key; before, after and during your session to help the body regulate temperature and the flow of nutrients around the body to the muscles that are working throughout. You should also consider food intake during exercise - foods high in sugar may cause a spike in blood sugars, which can sometimes make you feel or cause you to faint, as can a lack of food before exercise.Consider a good balance of carbs, proteins and fats to provide the body with suitable energy sources for exercising
If training inside, ensure you have good ventilation, or a draft through the window. It's uncommon in British houses to have AC units, but a fan and open windows can suffice whilst you're working out. Lastly, making sure that you're wearing suitable kit whilst training is of top importance, although perhaps fairly obvious! Excess layers of clothing will cause an increase in body temperature, whilst clothes perhaps that are too baggy may get caught up within your movements and cause external injuries.
It may seem fairly obvious to most that exercising in the heat should be done at one's own risk. It does not mean we have to stop completely, but just take extra care until we feel acclimatised. If it means scaling your weekly sessions back to something a little more basic for a week or two, then that's ok! Enjoy your sessions in the dappled shade, think a little harder about when you're training and what you're wearing, stay hydrated and most importantly have trust in your trainer to adapt exercise sessions as necessary.