It’s shaping up to be a scorching Summer: we are currently experiencing a major heatwave, with wildfires raging across western Europe and record-breaking temperatures expected in Britain. Fortunately, we’ve got some tips to help you beat the heat.
Be proactive when aiming to exercise in hot weather. Avoid the hottest part of the day between 11am-3pm and instead train in the mornings or evenings when temperatures are lower. Wear sun-cream and seek shade if you go outside. Make sure you’re well hydrated before starting your session and take water with you, consider having a cool shower beforehand so you’re feeling as cool and fresh as possible and wear light, breathable clothing – now is not the time for long-sleeved velour leotards!
Your performance and stamina may be lower than usual. Heat places extra physiological stress on your body and can be fatiguing, particularly if you’re not accustomed to a warmer climate. You can avoid ill-effects by making your sessions shorter and not too rigorous: schedule more and longer breaks than usual to rest and rehydrate and perhaps take refreshing water sprays or cooling towels with you.
It's a good idea to modify your sessions and focus on the basics, as all the best gymnasts and athletes do. Summertime, outside of competition season, is a great time to ease up on high-impact cardio and put more emphasis on rehabilitation, body conditioning and core skills. Consider swapping full routines for dance routines, lower your repetitions and prioritise quality over quantity. Strenuous acrobatics can wait for another day and warm environments are ideal to work on your stretching, shaping and artistry. We have helpful training equipment that can be used both in the gym and at home.
Hot weather can lead to additional hazards like sweaty hands and feet causing slips on a beam or climbing wall (check out our chalk products to help with that) so vigilant dynamic safeguarding is crucial. Coaches should monitor the temperature in their facility.
It’s important to heed the guidance of medical professionals and your coaches, but you’re also the best expert when it comes to your body so if you begin to feel unwell, make someone aware and know when to stop. Taking time off is better than over-working and health always comes first.
A slower-paced training session is a good opportunity to get creative and have fun in the gym – you could incorporate some relaxed games and use rest breaks to socialise with teammates. Whilst replacing fluids and electrolytes is a must for afterwards, an ice-lolly also makes a great post-workout treat!