By Maria Howells, our lovely fitness expert
Imagine this: you’re only a few pounds away from reaching your target BMI of 29 and then all of a sudden you find yourself in a heatwave, unsure if you can keep working out. Or, perhaps you are two weeks away from finishing your 12 week plan, you are feeling strong, motivated and proud of yourself. The last thing you want to do is stop this close to the end.
The summer heat can wreak havoc on your weight loss, trying to conceive and fitness goals. If it is too hot to workout, your progress can stall and in the worst case scenario, this can delay the start of fertility treatment and cause you to lose motivation. You’ve waited long enough to start treatment; you’ve been working hard and the infertility journey is tough enough without the weather also getting involved!
So here are five ways you can modify your workout so that you can continue to work out in the summer*.
Switch from counting reps to working out to time
Instead of having to do 10 repetitions of a movement, set a timer for 20-30 seconds and go at a pace that suits the weather. This should help you avoid over exerting yourself.
Keep your effort levels lower
It is a good idea to actively check in with yourself when working out; ask yourself the question, on a scale of 1-10, how hard am I working out right now (with 10 being you feel like you may die)? Then, when it is hot, make sure you keep your effort around a 5-6 / 10 (or lower if needs be, the main thing is to be mindful of what you are doing). This should help you from getting too hot in your workout.
Increase your rest time and decrease your work time
Shave 5-10 seconds off the time you spend doing the exercise and add 5-10 seconds on to your rest time in between sets.
Make sure you drink in rest periods rather than just at the end of your workout
A few sips may be enough but when it is hot you have to hydrate more than you think you do. Keep drinking in the hours afterwards as well, especially if it is so hot you continue to sweat. Your body is still working hard, even if you are relaxing.
Change the time of day you work out. Do not work out in the midday sun
This really is a massive no-no (and as someone who stupidly did this on holiday in Spain, I can accurately tell you that I felt ill for three days). Early morning is usually best, evening can be good as well.
These few simple steps should help you maintain your fitness and allow you to workout safely when it’s hot. This will help you keep on track and help keep you healthy on your trying to conceive journey.
*If it really is scorching hot, perhaps postpone until the weather cools down. Your safety is the main priority and the heat will pass eventually. Always check with your doctor if you are new to exercise or are not sure.
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