Physical training is pleasant and healthy both in winter and summer. However, extra precautions should be taken in summer.
Summer: a time conducive to physical training
Many people are more motivated and keen to work out during the summer months. This increased enthusiasm is likely due to a variety of factors: favourable weather conditions, the slower pace during the summer holidays or simply wanting to look your best in lighter summer wear…
Whatever your motivations or activities (cycling, running, swimming, weightlifting, CrossFit, etc.), it is important to be aware that training has benefits, but also some risks. Strategic preparation and precautionary measures can help you to get the most out of your training, while reducing risks that may be associated with it.
Beware of dehydration and heatstroke!
Whether you are training for a sports event (half-marathon, marathon, triathlon, cycling tour, and so on), purely for fun or simply to stay in good health, it goes without saying that high summer temperatures change the game. In hot weather, physical exertion increases the body’s temperature and, consequently, the risk of dehydration. For tips on staying well hydrated and details on the many benefits of water, read the following text: Becoming dehydrated in summer is risky!
Dehydration can lead not only to cramps, but also to heatstroke. You could also experience dizziness, headaches or even fainting. It is recommended to drink plenty of water and wear light-coloured clothing that wicks away sweat and heat. For additional information, read the following text: Recognizing and preventing heatstroke.
The importance of protecting against the sun
It is well known that the sun is essential to physical health and improves mood. However, ultraviolet rays can have harmful effects that should not be underestimated: aging skin, reduced elasticity, photosensitivity reactions and cancer (see The harmful effects of the sun on skin and health).
Therefore, it is recommended to apply sunscreen on exposed skin, to wear long sleeves or pants, if possible, and to wear a cap. If you jog, why not use a well-maintained and safe trail in the woods?
Recovery after physical exertion
Of course, physical activity is worth its weight in gold for your health. Physical training and striving to do better are important to you, but sustained physical exertion often leads to aches and pains, muscle soreness and sometimes even mental fatigue. Don’t forget that your body and mind need a break!
The following text: Adequately recovering after physical exertion, provides all of the information needed to promote optimal recovery. Some of the subjects covered there include:
- nutrition after physical exertion
- muscle stretching exercises
- recovery of the mind (meditation, relaxation or breathing exercises, and other calming activities)
- factors that promote restorative sleep
The following text: Prevent and ease muscle soreness, can also provide valuable information on ways to prevent and relieve muscle pain and soreness related to intense physical exertion.
You probably know how crucial it is to eat well. A diet high in carbohydrates (60 to 65%) is essential to meet your energy needs, and adequate protein (about 15%) helps repair muscle tissue. To find out what and when to eat, read the following text: Nutrition at the heart of sports performance.
In a nutshell
Here are the golden rules to follow to train safely during the summer:
- Adapt your training program to the ambient temperature.
- Don’t forget the importance of hydration. Listen to your thirst!
- Protect yourself against the sun’s UV rays.
- Eat carbohydrate and protein-rich foods at the appropriate time.
- Set aside some qualitytime to rest.
Don’t hesitate to speak to your pharmacist if you have any health or medication-related questions.