School’s out for summer! That means long days of swimming and fun, but also soaring temps and humidity. So we all need a smart plan of attack to stay safe while we get strong. Here are some of the things I’ve learned in the past few summers as a fit mom living in Houston.
1. Keep your expectations in check.
The heat and humidity drive up your heart rate. You have to work harder to keep your body temperature within a normal range, so you don’t have as much in you to push yourself. I notice every year that my running times go way up in the summer and it always freaks me out a little. But don’t get down on yourself! Know that when it starts to cool off again (and I promise it will, even if it seems like you’ll be hot for the rest of your life) your performance will get much better and you will feel great.
2. Get your workout in early.
We move our Stroller Strides classes from 9:30 to 9:00, and even that half hour change makes a big difference in the “feels like” temperature at class time. If you can’t get in early, wait until around 7:30pm and always check the weather for any heat advisory warnings. The hottest time of day is usually between noon and 4:00pm, so you should stay inside then if at all possible.
3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Did I mention you should hydrate?
On mornings where you start to sweat before we’ve even done a warmup, the nicest thing you can do for your body is to keep it hydrated. You’ll need to seriously up your water intake, and if you’re sweating for a long time, you need to consider your electrolyte needs. Some people choose sports drinks for this purpose, and others choose capsules or salt packs so they can avoid the added sugars of sports drinks. DO NOT wait until you are thirsty to start drinking water! Start hydrating the day before your workout so you have plenty of water as a baseline.
4. Shade is your friend.
At our Stroller Strides and Body Back classes we know where the shade falls in our parks. We try to “shade hop” meaning we go from one shady spot to another. If you don’t have much shade where you are, at least get yourself a nice hat to protect your face some. We have some cute options at shop.fit4mom.com if you need one! When you park, make sure your little one is in the shade of their stroller canopy or a tree.
5. Go shopping!
We all love small portable fans for the stroller, and the kids especially love the ones that have a misting feature. Give your kid a water gun and I promise you will get shot with some cool water during your workout. Another really great tool to have for the little ones is a stroller cooling pad. There are a few options including gel packs or the Stroll N Cool. Make sure you test whatever product you use against your skin to ensure it’s not too cold for baby. Finally, buy yourself good wicking clothes! Cotton keeps all that sweat right next to your body and drives your body temperature and exertion level way up.
6. Workout with a friend
Not only does having a friend with you motivate you to keep up your routine when you are hot a tired, it is also a safety net in case you start to feel overheated or lightheaded. All FIT4MOM instructors are CPR and First Aid certified and will encourage you to stay cool and safe.