Home Health & Wellness UK Heatwave: How to Stay Safe During Your Workouts This Week

UK Heatwave: How to Stay Safe During Your Workouts This Week

Published: Last updated:
Reading Time: 4 minutes

With the UK set to see temperatures soar this week, with possible highs of 30 degrees Celsius, those who love to work out may underestimate the dangers of exercising in the sun. 

To help those looking to continue their workout routines stay safe, Live Football Tickets has collaborated with nutritionists Caroline Hind and Vanessa Peat to share eight tips to reduce your health risks when working out in the heat. 

Check a heat-adjusted pace calculator

It is estimated that your running pace will slow by six to ten seconds per km for every five-degree increase in temperature. Your heart must work harder when working out in the heat, so you should expect a slower running pace than exercising in normal temperatures. 

To avoid overdoing it in the heat wave, check a heat-adjusted pace calculator by putting in the temperature, humidity and your planned running distance or time. Though the heat may affect people differently, running slower ensures your body functions healthily under the warm sun.

Exercise safely with your furry friends

Exercising may help de-stress your dog, but don’t risk overdoing it when the temperatures are soaring. Instead, you could take your dogs to a park with plenty of shade from trees or other outdoor areas without too much direct sunlight. 

Help them stay hydrated by carrying a portable water container and wetting their paws to keep them cool. It’s also important to remember to test the temperature of the ground with your hand before you take them out walking on it; surfaces such as tarmac can heat up dramatically in the hot weather and could cause harm to your dog’s sensitive paws.

Remember, dogs can get heat exhaustion, too, so it’s important to watch for any signs they show, whether at home or out and about, and take steps to ensure they stay cool during any exercise.

Pack water-resistant sun creams and cooling mists

Many people tend to forget the importance of applying external methods to stay cool and healthy during workouts; however, they could be very effective at protecting your body during a heatwave.

Try a cooling face spray to help bring down your body temperature during a workout. Products such as ice towels or cooling pads can also help your body keep from overheating and prevent heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Exposure to the sun during workouts can also harm your skin, including developing skin cancer. Therefore, taking care of your skin health is vital by applying a sun cream with a SPF of 30 or more. If you are going out for a swim in the heat, water-resistant sun creams may be a better choice for you.

Switch your workout intensity

While it could be tempting to have an outdoor run in the sun, knowing your body and picking the most suitable workout for your environment is important. Caroline Hind, a registered clinical nutritionist at Nutrable says: “Keep your workouts easy – the heatwave won’t last forever, so ease off a little this week. Long but gentle walks in the shade and relaxing swims are great to keep you moving. If you don’t want to miss out on high-intensity exercise, recognise that the heat takes an extra toll on your body, so keep each period shorter than your usual length. In summary, go short and hard or long and gentle. Long and hard workouts become more dangerous in the heat.”

Pick the time smartly

When choosing the time of your workout, think carefully; exercising outside when the temperature reaches 35 degrees is not recommended. With the recently launched colour-coded heatwave system, it’s easier to check heat alerts and health warnings before going out to ensure you’re informed before heading to your workout.

If you still need to exercise in the sun when it’s hot, either do it earlier in the morning before sunrise or try later in the afternoon or after sunset. Avoid doing intense exercises between 10 am–4 pm outside as it’s usually when the sun is hot.

Put on the right clothes

Are you looking to wear new workout clothes this summer but don’t know whether you need a tight or loose fitting?

It is recommended to wear the most comfortable clothes, whether tank tops or tight gym clothes. Avoid clothes that might restrict your movement or trap your body.

Caroline Hind suggests: “Linen and cotton are your friends – light, natural fibres allow air to blow across your skin and sweat to evaporate easily. When there is a heat wave, you may find light-coloured and loose-fitting clothes more comfortable as they allow more airflow around your body.”

Pre-training hydration

Hydration is vital to our body no matter what time of the year, but it’s even more important during summer weather.

On staying safe in the hot weather, Vanessa Peat, registered associate nutritionist, says: During this warm weather, it is important to drink fluids or water during your day, even if you are not physically active. A simple step is to keep a pint of water beside your bed and drink it upon waking up. If you find it difficult to remember to drink fluids during the day, you may find it useful to set an alarm as a helpful reminder. 

“When spending time in this lovely warm weather, it would be wise to monitor the colour of your urine, as this is a great way to analyse how hydrated you are. The paler your urine is, the more hydrated you are. In contrast, if your urine is darker in colour, this is an indicator that you may need to drink more water. Always aim for a urine which is pale in colour.”

Caroline Hind adds that you shouldn’t forget your electrolytes: “Heat naturally makes us more thirsty, so it’s easy to remember to drink, but the body needs electrolytes too. Take care to choose a good electrolyte supplement to add to your water, or make your electrolyte drink with coconut water, salt, lemon juice and a natural sugar such as molasses.”

Stop when needed

If you notice signs of heat exhaustion, such as dizziness, nausea and weakness, pause your workout immediately. You should then head to a shaded area or preferably an indoor air-conditioned space. If you can, drink a sports drink and wash your face with cold water.

If you or anyone else is struggling to breathe, experiencing unconsciousness or still unwell after 30 minutes of resting in a cool place, being cooled and drinking fluids, please seek medical help by contacting 111 or 999. Please find details here on NHS.uk

© Copyright 2014–2034 Psychreg Ltd