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Is it safe to exercise in hot weather?

Ideas for keeping fit in the heat

The answer is yes, assuming you’re healthy and you don’t have any heat related conditions or any other reason why you shouldn’t exercise in the heat. Here’s what I would suggest. Firstly, shrink the size of your session. Instead of doing an hour or a longer session, try something like a Tabata sequence. I’ve talked about Tabata before, but it’s a four-minute sequence that you cycle through; 20 seconds of hard exercise, 10 seconds rest, 20 seconds hard exercise, 10 seconds rest and so on. Cycle through that eight times and that makes four minutes.

Or you could do a five-minute warmup, some dynamic stretching, some jogging on the spot, a light jog round the park or your garden. A four-minute Tabata that could be burpee’s, squats, running squats; any kind of body weight exercise is suitable. You could grab a kettle bell and do kettle bell squats and pushes. Anything at all. Ideally something that’s a compound movement, using multiple joints in the body. Then at the end of that you do a five-minute cool down. Light stretching is good, just cooling down the body and then I would try and spend another five minutes relaxing the nervous system. Spend five- minutes breathing in the cool, for example, in the shade somewhere, to bring your nervous system down a little bit.

If you can top that off with a cold shower, you’re going to have done your body a great favour, all within about 30 minutes from start to finish. The last thing I’d suggest is if you’re doing all of that outside, of course take care to put on sun cream. Don’t do it right in the middle of the day when it’s hottest. But, there’s no reason why the hot weather means it’s unsafe to exercise or in fact that we shouldn’t. Just be intelligent about it, shrink the time, do something you love.

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Leanne Spencer is an entrepreneur, coach, TEDx Speaker, author of Remove the Guesswork, and founder of Bodyshot Performance Limited. Bodyshot is a health and fitness consultancy that helps busy professionals get more energy by removing the guesswork around their health, fitness and nutrition. Visit www.bodyshotperformance.com or email [email protected] to register your interest in our services and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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