One of the biggest perks of summer, if you ask us, is finally being able to take our weekly workouts out of the gym and back into the great outdoors. Whether we’re swapping treadmills for pavement or stair steppers for hiking trails, the nicer temps of summer are always a welcome opportunity to take our exercise outside. Of course, that’s all well and good, until hot summer temps start colliding with high levels of humidity and thwarting our plans.
Of course, humidity can be unavoidable in the summer, so it’s not ideal to have to change up our exercise plans every time it strikes. Still, in order to make sure that you’re catering your workout to the weather conditions, here are a few tips to keep in mind next time your working out and some seriously humid heat.
Check the heat-index level.
Exercising outside in the summer without running the risk of overheating can already get risky when temperatures start creeping up. But when paired with high levels of humidity on top of that, you can run the risk of getting overly dehydrated or suffering from heatstroke. When it comes to assessing the conditions outside, look out for combinations of temperatures at or above 85ºF with 65% humidity or above. When that’s the case, it might actually be too risky to even take your workout outside, and you might want to stick to the indoors.
When the heat and humidity aren’t at unsafe levels and you’re able to swing the outdoor workout, you’ll still want to make sure that you’re taking the necessary steps to make sure that you don’t get overheated or dehydrated. And, of course, what’s the biggest way to make sure that you don’t get dehydrated? Make sure to hydrate. (We know – akin to rocket science.) Basically the hotter and more humid it is, the more you’re going to sweat through your workout. And the more you’re sweating, the more you’ll need to replenish the water that you’re losing in your body. Offset the loss of water you’re experiencing by consistently taking small water breaks as you workout, even if you’re not particularly thirsty. Plus, you might even want to opt for electrolyte water instead of regular old H2O, as this switch could more effectively replenish the nutrients and salts that your body is losing as you sweat through your workout.
Avoid midday workouts.
Just because you’re ready to brave the combination of heat and humidity, that doesn’t mean that you need to make it harder on yourself by heading outside when the conditions are at their worst. Look out for yourself by avoiding any midday workouts, since that time of day – between 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. – is usually when the sun and heat are their strongest. Instead, try to opt for morning or evening workouts that take advantage of somewhat cooler temperatures, slightly less humid conditions, and less intense sunlight. Sure, switching to a 6 p.m. run on a humid day might not help you avoid a little frizz, but you can at least avoid getting overly worn out.