Walking in the Heat: Tips for Sport Walking in the Summer

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If the heat increases , walking outdoors requires a series of tricks to make the most of the climate and maintain the pre-established training routine. Choosing the most suitable moment of the day, the right training intensity , the correct clothing and hydration: these are all measures that allow you to benefit from physical activity .

Choose the right moment
When temperatures rise, it is advisable to choose some times of the day rather than others, in which to go out for a walk. Sunrise is the best time , especially in June and July. In some areas, the coastal ones, the sea breeze begins to cool the temperatures in the mid-afternoon. But in many inland areas, temperatures rise until the late afternoon, 5-6pm, and don’t cool off until after sunset. Even after 8pm it could be a time of day suitable for walking during the hot season.

When the temperature is above 32°C and the relative humidity is above 60%, it is not recommended to go out for a walk. Check weather apps and heat indexes, and use them to determine when it’s too hot to exercise outside. Better to exercise on the treadmill or an indoor walking track than risk exposing yourself to dangerously hot conditions.

A valid alternative, which increases the benefits of exercise, can be to walk in the water . Or you can also do the training in sea water.

Avoid direct sunlight and walking on asphalt or concrete. Nature trails under the trees are the coolest places to walk. You can use the online map app to find a walking route and use the “Satellite View” or “Hybrid View” to see where trees and shadows may be.

The right hydration
Hydration is a key aspect when walking outdoors in high temperatures. Drink a large glass of water two to three hours before starting your walk, and then 20 to 30 minutes before your walk. This gets you to start your workout well hydrated with the ability to flush out any excess fluid before you start walking. During the walk it is recommended to drink about a glass of water every 20 minutes along the way. When you finish the walk dehydrated you will notice: high heart rate and dark yellow urine. Be sure to pack water; in case of walks lasting more than 60 minutes, it is recommended to also add a sports drink that reintroduces the lost electrolytes and mineral salts .

Clothing and equipment
Equipment for walking in hot weather should include light-colored clothing that protects against the sun’s ultraviolet rays . Wear a peaked hat or cuffed cap to shade your neck. Wear sunscreen to prevent sunburn , skin blemishes and skin aging . Wear sunglasses that block UVA and UVB rays to protect your eyes .

In case of high temperatures, it is possible to moisten and freeze a bandana or a light towel and keep it in a ziplock bag with ice cubes , even carrying it in a backpack which, for quick recovery, can be tied around the neck. Splashing your face and neck with cool water can help cool you down. In case you wear sweatbands on your wrists , soaking them in cold water can also help provide relief from the heat.

Walking intensity
If you can’t avoid the heat, it’s best to lower the intensity of your walking workout so that your body generates less internal heat. Slow down especially when walking uphill . Put off and postpone high-intensity workouts to cooler times.

Daniel J. Brown

Daniel J. Brown (Editor-in-Chief) is a recently retired data analyst who gets a kick out of reading and writing the news. He enjoys good music, great food, and sports, with a slant towards Southern college football, basketball and professional baseball.

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