9 Common Summer Workout Mistakes You May Be Making

man and woman running outside

9 Common Summer Workout Mistakes You May Be Making

As the weather heats up, exercising outside seems like the perfect opportunity to work up a sweat while not wasting precious good weather. However, with the increased heat and humidity, common mistakes can lead to serious health risks.

Committing any of these 9 common summer workout mistakes could lead to injury and less than optimal performance.

Not drinking until you are thirsty

man sitting on the ground outside drinking water

Thirst is not a helpful indication of hydration. According to Mayo Clinic, when you are thirsty there is a strong chance you are already dehydrated, having lost as much as one to two percent of your body’s water content. With that water loss, you are more likely to start experiencing cognitive impairments like stress, agitation, and forgetfulness.

Exercising in the heat means needing water to regulate your temperature. Not drinking enough water will cause fatigue to set in, reducing your performance. Keep a bottle of water with you for long workouts and drink a glass or two before heading out.

Skipping the sunscreen

woman putting on sunscreen

With summer comes an increased UV Index, increasing your chance of sunburn, even when it is cloudy. Getting sunburnt, even if it is just once every two years, can triple your risk of melanoma skin cancer, according to Cancer Research UK. Once you are sunburnt, putting more sunscreen on will not help the sunburn that has already emerged.

It is recommended to use a sweat-proof SPF of 30 or higher. Reapply every two hours of moderate exercise, or every 45 to 60 minutes during rigorous exercise.

Not keeping an eye on the clock

man checking his watch

Summer temperatures begin to climb earlier in the day. If possible, avoid exercising outdoors between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to miss the hottest part of the day. If you have the option, exercise in shaded areas instead of in a direct path of sunlight.

Wearing the wrong clothes

man running in loose clothes outside

Skin hugging clothes or polyester blends are not your best options when exercising outside. Wearing loose-fitting, light-colored, cotton blend clothing will help you stay cooler and limit that post-workout stench.

Working out with your pup

woman running with her dog outside

Working out with your dog may seem like the perfect way to spend a summer day, but the high temperatures and humidity can be especially harmful to dogs. Dogs’ fur and naturally high body temperature makes them feel the heat even more than we do. Panting, how dogs cool themselves down, becomes less effective the more humid it gets. If the day is extra hot and humid, think about leaving your four-legged best friend at home.

Skipping electrolytes

woman drinking chocolate milk in her hosue

The hotter it is, the more you are going to sweat. This additional sweat means more electrolytes lost. If you are going to be working out extensively or intensely outdoors make sure to recover with more than just water. Instead, rehydrate with a drink that will replace your lost sodium, but avoid the artificial ingredients and added sugars you will find in popular sports drinks. Something healthier like coconut water, all-natural cherry juice or a cold glass of chocolate milk will do the trick – make sure to check the labels for added sugars, though.

Assuming you will be performing at your personal bests

upset man sitting on a track outside

You can expect a drop in performance when temperatures rise, especially with high-intensity cardio.

Instead, set realistic, hot day personal records.

Not checking the weather

sweaty woman sitting outside

It can be tempting to throw on your workout gear and step outside without first checking the forecast, after all, you do not have to worry about it being below freezing. However, checking humidity levels, heat advisories, “feels like” temperatures, and rain forecasts will determine how and when you exercise that day.

Working out too hard

tired, sweaty man sitting outside

Avoid the mistake of ignoring your exhaustion. When you exercise in the summer it can be easy to brush off the lethargic feeling, but you should listen to your body when it is tired. Feeling faint, dizzy, or nauseated means you should probably take a break.

If you are unsure about how to properly exercise in the summer or need additional guidance meet for a free personal training consultation before engaging in rigorous activity.