Sports in summer: How to keep fit in the heat

Summer, sun, hot temperatures: your good mood is at its peak and you are full of energy? Nothing keeps you in your own four walls anymore? Then you are just like many others.

Boot camp fans cavort in parks, sun worshippers are out on the water in their SUP or canoes, and on the finest sandy beaches there are many places where people compete – summer is a festival for all outdoor sports enthusiasts!

But everybody knows: As soon as temperatures rise above 25 degrees, outdoor training can also bring some risks. That’s why there are constant warnings against sunburn, breathing difficulties and heat collapse.

Can, may or should recreational athletes not rather take a break during the weeks when it can get really hot in our latitudes? No – a total abstinence from exercise is no solution either!

If you do sports in the middle of summer at high temperatures, you should nevertheless follow a few important tips to ensure that training in the heat stays healthy and is fun on top of it all. 

8 rules for sports in summer

So if you follow the following rules on hot days, you will not only stay healthy throughout the summer, but also in top shape.

1. drink a lot

Drinking a lot is important! Especially in combination with sports, a sufficient fluid intake is even more important at current temperatures. Through increased sweating your body loses significantly more water and minerals than usual.

This is not only unhealthy and can cause physical discomfort, your workout itself can also suffer: If you are dehydrated, your performance can drop dramatically.

Especially in summer, you should drink regularly and enough throughout the day – not just when you feel thirsty.

The following applies to training: Drink small sips every now and then! The German Society for Nutrition and Drinking (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung und Trinken e. V.) recommends a fluid intake of 0.4-0.8 l/h during intensive endurance activities in summer.

2. find the optimum training time

“Early birds” have a clear advantage in summer: in the early morning the air is still comparatively cool and fresh. The ozone load is also lowest then. Those who are not made for early morning sports are best to shift their training to the late evening hours.

Under no circumstances should you run outside in the heat of the day or do other sports. This could lead to circulatory problems and carries the risk of heat stroke or sunstroke.

We have summarised the advantages and disadvantages of early morning exercise or evening workouts at normal temperatures here.

3. choosing the right sports

Very strenuous sports such as intensive weight training or HIIT should not necessarily be in high heat – that is obvious. However, if you don’t want to give up going to your limits in summer, there are plenty of cool alternatives!

You can find inspiration for outdoor sports activities here.

How about a game of beach volleyball, stand up paddling or paddling with friends? It’s great fun and who knows, maybe you’ll find your new favourite sport that will bring you a step closer to your training goals!

Doing sports regularly does not mean that the fitness effect comes automatically: a noticeable increase in performance only takes place outside your comfort zone. So try something new more often!

4. slow down

At the height of summer we often feel less efficient than in the cooler seasons. However, this is not only due to the beautiful weather, but also to how our body reacts to heat. To keep the body temperature low, your cardiovascular system has to work hard.

Under these conditions you should lower your demands during training and not demand your body’s full performance.

Sufficient breaks ensure that your body has enough time to regenerate. So if it is hot, you should adjust your breaks and take longer breaks. Use these to drink something, take a deep breath or just sit still for a few minutes.

Better one break too many than one too few is the motto. Afterwards you can carry on full of energy again.

5. do not forget Warm-up

Cold starts are always dangerous. Even in summer, a warm-up phase before every workout should be a matter of course. Since the outside temperature has no influence on the muscles, you should not forget to warm up even in summer temperatures.

Loose running, for example, mobilizes the cardiovascular system, targeted stretching exercises bring muscles and vision up to operating temperature and thus protect against strains and other injuries.

6. proper nutrition

The minerals, salts (electrolytes) and vitamins secreted with sweat are not only reabsorbed through isotonic drinks, but also through food. Fruit, vegetables, wholemeal bread and fish are particularly suitable for a complete diet. It is better to use fresh products where the vitamin content is highest.

Even though you may not feel hungry in high temperatures, not eating is not an option, especially if you want to build muscle or maintain it over the summer months.

Try to eat several small, light meals throughout the day that are not too heavy on the stomach.

7. suit up

Or rather suit down? For sports in hot weather, you should choose clothing made of functional fibres that quickly wick sweat away from the skin and ideally even cool you down on top. 

Here it is said, less is more: It is best to leave as much skin as possible free. After all, your body’s own air conditioning system runs at peak performance in high temperatures and needs all the support it can get.

Caution: In sultry weather, cooling only works to a limited extent due to the evaporation of sweat, as the humidity in the air greatly reduces the effect.

8. in very hot weather: Indoor beats Outdoor

As motivating as an outdoor workout may be, when it gets really hot, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t train in the cooler indoor area and let your energy flow freely.

Afterwards, you can always go outside to enjoy the sun and have a good time. Apart from the temperature, training in air-conditioned rooms has the advantage that you don’t need sun protection and the cardiovascular system is not stressed as much.

Whether in sun, rain or thunderstorm: With Urban Sports Club there are no more weather-related excuses! You can take advantage of countless offers: from live online courses in your own four walls to indoor training units with or without personal trainer to outdoor workouts with built-in cooling! Take the chance and adapt your training totally easy to your needs and goals – and not to the weather! 

The information listed here is not a substitute for professional advice or treatment by a qualified doctor. Our contents cannot and may not be used to make diagnoses or start treatments on your own.

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