In Summer, the heat and humidity come to bear in ways that we often don’t even think about. For instance, did you know that there are ways that you can more effectively recover from your workouts in Summer that will really give you a boost in ways that don’t always happen the same way in winter?
The truth is, for all athletes out there training for something bigger, getting enough recovery is already a struggle. Add the heat of summer and it compounds the issue. You sweat more, there’s more fatigue, and, in general, you end up putting more stress on the body. So what are some super effective strategies for recovering faster during the summer?
1. Take a dive, go for a swim, just get in the water
Here’s the great thing about swimming — it’s so low impact that it can actually allow your muscles to get a nice light workout to prevent lactic acid buildup. It becomes easier to regulate your body temperature from being in the water. Just don’t forget to hydrate! Many people have the misconception that because you’re in the pool, you’re not losing fluids. This isn’t true. You might sweat less from the pool water, but you will still sweat.
A combination of that and increased respiration means that you will inevitably need to replenish your water intake. Don’t overlook this — dehydration in the water can be deadly. Just make sure you hydrate before and after your swim and enjoy a great Summer recovery workout.
2. Hydration should be your biggest focus outside the gym.
Summer means a drastic increase in both heat and humidity. This means that your core body temperature will inevitably go up as you work out, and far more so than in the other seasons in the year. So you need to make hydration a focused part of your day — whether you’re in the gym or resting.
There are many effective strategies for getting in all of the water you need to be healthy while achieving your goals. Just make sure that you’re actually following one. There are a bunch of apps that can help you track your water consumption, and there are techniques as well, like getting a water container that will hold your entire daily need — a visual reminder of your goal.
3. Make sure and pack along some delicious, healthy berries.
Berries are chock full of antioxidants, water, and fiber. Think of them like nature’s recovery pills. Above all, they’re delightful!
One of the benefits of berries is that you can freeze them overnight (or just buy them frozen) and keep them all day in a container, and they should still be great for your training sessions. The cool berries will help you keep your core temperature down and they will also help reduce inflammation. Frozen berries also have an ice cream-like consistency, so that’s an added bonus!
4. Make sure you’re getting enough sodium and electrolytes.
In a climate that’s only hot, often times you will go through periods of sweating and cooling. But when you mix humidity into that equation, things change. The world becomes like an outdoor sauna, and your body can’t quit sweating. This is why, especially in the South like in Atlanta, GA, you really need to make sure that you’re focusing on replenishing the sodium and electrolytes that leave your system.
But be very careful! This doesn’t mean that you should just jump in and start drinking a lot of Gatorade. Try to focus on getting your sodium and electrolytes from food. Now, that being said, if you’re putting in over an hour a day of sweat, then it’s more understandable to look to some sort of electrolyte replacement beverage. But go for the lowest calorie ones you can find. Otherwise, you’re just drinking sugar water.
5. Do not skimp on sleep, even though days are longer.
Many people tend to beat this point to death — but there’s a good reason for it! Sleep is the most important part of recovery. Without appropriate sleep, your body will never really recover from anything, much less your workouts. It’s important that you listen to your body. There are so many essential things that happen at night while your body is at rest, and losing that is a recipe for disaster. Do not skip out on your sleep.
6. Consider PRP Therapy to assist!
Especially if you’re training for an event, Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy, or PRP Therapy for short, is a process in which your blood is collected, the platelets are concentrated, and then the plasma is re-injected into your body. What this does is add to your body’s natural army of recovery cells and allows some pretty amazing stuff to happen.