Ninety-degree temps don't stop you from working out. You get out there and give it your all, and your clothes are completely soaked with sweat to prove it, which makes you feel like you truly got in a good workout. In order to prevent dehydration, headaches, sore muscles, or worse, injuries, follow these recovery tips after a hot and humid workout.
- Cool down in a cool place: Once you stop exercising, you may feel hotter than you did during the actual workout. Don't let this cause you to skip the all-important cooldown. If you were running or cycling outside, prevent overheating by heading inside for your cooldown. If you're far from home, jump into a lake and do a five-minute swimming cooldown, or dump water on your head while doing a slower version of your workout. Cooling down after a hot workout will allow your heart rate to return to normal and give your muscles the rest they need to start the repairing process.
- Grab a cold one: With the buckets of sweat pouring into your eyes and onto the pavement, you've got to replace lost fluids. Weighing yourself before and after your workout is a fun way to see how much water you need; just drink 16 to 20 ounces for every pound lost and continue to sip on water throughout the day. If you've been working out intensely for an hour or more, choose a sports drink over water to replace any electrolytes lost through sweat.
- Stretch: Working out in the heat is amazing for warming up tight muscles, and you might find your body is able to move more easily than during cooler times. This can mean pushing yourself harder than you normally would, which is why stretching afterward is so important to maintain flexibility and prevent injury. Need some ideas? Here's a post-run stretching sequence.
- Hit the showers: This may seem obvious, but since heat elevates your body temperature, taking a cool shower can help bring your body temp back to normal. Since heat is lost through your head, be sure to soak your hair, face, and neck to speed up the cooldown process, and stay under the water as long as it takes to feel back to normal. Getting out of your sweaty clothes and washing away pollen and other outdoor allergens, as well as the sunscreen and bug spray you've slathered on can also prevent allergic reactions or skin irritation. If you're feeling foggy-headed, dizzy, or insanely hot directly after the cooldown, you might want to shower first and stretch afterward.
- Eat soon after: Nosh on a 150-calorie snack within 30 minutes. It should be a combo of protein needed for muscle recovery and growth as well as carbs to replace lost glycogen stores. If you're in a rush, grab one of these 10 low-calorie post-workout snack ideas. If you have more time to, whip up one of these all natural, sweet snacks.