Sweet Summer Workouts

Its that time of year where you want to take that workout into the great outdoors! The problem with that is our bodies are not used to the heat and can this cause some limitations during sunny outdoor activities. Here are a few pointers to help you burn those calories without harming your body:

Know your Heart Rate Training Zone. Why? Exercising at sufficiently intense exercise levels overloads your cardiovascular system. Rest helps your body to adapt to these overloads and in turn strengthen your cardiovascular system. By strengthening this system, your body becomes more efficient at delivering oxygen and fuel to active muscles during exercise.

Find your Estimated Heart Rate Max (EHRM) = 220-age

Find your Target Heart Rate (THR) Zone = EMHR x 60%, EMHR x 80%

Definition of Zones: 60-70% Recovery, 70-80% Endurance/Strength, 80-90% Interval

60% will be the lowest you want your HR to be during exercise, while 80-90% will be the highest you want your HR to be during exercise

Be cautious of what heat will do to those numbers. Why? Dehydration and increased body temperature will cause your HR to be higher at a lower intensity. This means you feel tired quicker, because the increase in heat and dehydration are impairing your performance. Dehydration causes reduced blood flow to muscles which means oxygen (needed for muscles to work) is not getting where it needs to be.

How will heat and/or dehydration affect my performance? Extremely hot conditions put you at greater risk for heat rash, heat stroke, heat exhaustion and heat cramps. As your core temperature increases, your body has to work that much harder just to cool it down, not taking into consideration the extra stress on your body. This causes impairment of the maximal capacity of force production during your workout, ie your workout is compromised. So be cautious, hydrate and workout outdoors early mornings or late evenings when the temperatures are cooler.



American College of Sports Medicine’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, 8th Edition. Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins: 2010.

Coudreuse, Jean Marie, Ftaiti, Foued, Grelot, Laurent, Nicol, Caroline. (2001). Combined effect of heat stress, dehydration and exercise on neuromuscular function in humans. Eur J Applied Physiology (2001) 84:87-94.

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