Spring is the perfect time to go outside and have fun. It's one of my favorite times of year because there are so many outdoor activities to choose from. Everything is more fun outside, whether you're swimming, running or cycling.
A beautiful sunny day is the ultimate motivation to go outside and play, but the spring heat and exercise can be a risky combination. Outdoor activities and muscle cramps usually go hand in hand for example! Muscle cramping is the bane of athletes exercising in the heat. It’s a painful condition that can range from annoying to disabling. That makes it important to know how to prevent one. Pushing your body to the limit is not always the best route, and taking care of yourself, especially if you exercise outside during the hot afternoons, is essential to staying healthy.
Spring might be the perfect time to get in shape, but there are a few things you need to remember if you’re going to have a successful Springtime workout. With the right alterations to your routine, you can carry on training even on the hottest day. Here are a few tips on how to get the most out of your next workouts!
Change your Schedule
The time you work out matters, especially now. Whereas in the winter, it is advisable to train as much as possible in the middle of the day to catch a little sunlight and to take advantage of the warmest time of day, in the spring, it’s recommended to avoid this time of day and train instead in the early morning or later evening. Rise early to catch the cool of the morning, or go out at sunset or later. In the heat of midday (typically between 10 am and 4 pm) take cover under shade.
Wear loose, light-colored clothes!
The lighter color will help reflect heat, and cotton material will help the evaporation of sweat. You may also want to try specially designed, "hi-tech" running shirts and shorts. They are often made from material meant to keep you cool.
Generally speaking, coffee can help your training performance as the caffeine gives you an energy boost. In Spring, however, caffeine isn’t such a good idea as it actually makes you sweat more and increases the rate at which fluids and electrolytes are lost. This is because caffeine is a diuretic stimulant which triggers your central nervous system and activates the sweat glands. Try alternative drinks!
If you’re the kind who doesn’t eat much after working out, consider making an exception for Spring. Instead of focusing on what power foods to eat and how to stick to a diet, it might be more helpful to focus on how you’re snacking instead. I personally prefer Apples, Pears, Bananas and Peaches because they are quick and easy to consume. Berries are not only highly nutritious but also a low-carb fruit choice. Replenish your electrolyte reserves by drinking sports drinks (like Hydra-Guard) throughout your workout. Eat a high-fiber snack after your exercise to replenish your sugar and salt levels.
Our body also needs fluids and electrolytes to function at its best. Training in the heat means that you’ll sweat more and lose more water which means that you’ll need to drink more fluids to replace the liquid and electrolytes lost.
Experts agree on one thing when it comes to how much water adults should drink: that Americans don’t drink enough. Here is one basic rule of thumb: Drink half your weight in ounces daily (ex: a 150lb person would drink 75oz).
For intense workouts or long-distance runs, drink fluids with added electrolytes. Bring a bottle with you to the gym, and make sure you drink before, during, and after your workout! Walking around with a water bottle or sports drink bottle has become part of who I am. Staying hydrated not only helps me to stay on top of my physical performance, but also I make sure I am always at my best mentally. Products like Hydra-Guard Sports Drink also help me to make sure I have my proper amount of Vitamins and essential electrolytes. One bottle has 20% the equivalent Daily Value of Calcium we need alongside with only 5g of REAL Sugar and no artificial anything.
After a strenuous workout, it’s important to give your body time to recover. If you don’t rest, you will be more susceptible to soreness, trouble sleeping, and a decrease in performance. Rest needs to be part of your daily routine as well as part of your exercise plan—build in one rest day per week, and take time to recover after every workout. Overall, beating the heat and doing a full workout is entirely doable.
Just be smart and sensible about the temperature, and always keep in mind your own personal limits. If you want to avoid serious injuries that could put you out of commission for a while, you need to listen to your body. Persistence is key. By following the steps above I guarantee you will be able to achieve any goal you set yourself to do throughout the Spring!
Like I mentioned in this article, luckily there are already healthier options of foods and drinks on the market that can help people get their essential vitamins and minerals without the extra calories.
Ultimately, taking steps towards better mental and physical health will complement one another. When you have a good attitude and you feel well physically, you’ll feel less vulnerable to stress. Moreover, you’ll feel as though the world has more possibilities and there’s more to look forward to during your Spring workouts.
Many professional athletes endorse the use of sports drinks to better prepare them and to stay mentally and physically sharp throughout their season. Minnesota Vikings’ Running Back Alexander Mattison also emphasizes the importance of sports drinks like Hydra-Guard in his preparation to play at the NFL level. “I believe that staying Properly Hydrated with products such as Hydra-Guard is very important because as an athlete, it becomes part of a healthy lifestyle choice and it helps me to prevent any injuries,” says Alex.