It’s true… the summer can be taxing on your energy levels. Sometimes the reason for your tiredness is apparent, such as an outdoor run or a long day, but it can also be challenging to determine the source of your tiredness. We regularly find ourselves exhausted no matter what we do throughout the day. We have done our homework and found a few reasons behind the summer lag.
Summer exercise usually burns more calories than any other time of year due to the hot weather conditions. The human body ofter fatigues faster in the heat, and with a high heart rate, our bodies require more energy to keep consistent activity levels.
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Cutting a scientific story short, our bodies become tired faster when exercising in the heat. As a result, you need to up the ante on the effort you put into your workout. The increase in calorie burning can result in feeling more tired than usual. If anything, it tends to promote the feeling of exhaustion following physical activity, which can last for extended periods. This could be anything from an hour to a few days, depending on the intensity of the movement.
Our bodies also tend to suffer from what’s best known as the “supply and demand” issue. This is where the working muscles in the body need blood to deliver oxygen. However, your body also wants to send blood to your skin cells for the cooling and sweating process. A workout in the heat tends to be more challenging with the body only having a finite blood supply.
Exercising in the heat is taxing. It’s crucial not to overexercise or work out too intensely. If you start to feel exhausted or faint, stop immediately as this will prevent accidents. Then find a cool space to rest and re-hydrate.
We all constantly blame the heat when we feel tired, and we’re not wrong to do so. Acclimatising to the heat significantly affects how our bodies manage the hot weather. Heat acclimation isn’t something that just happens overnight. In reality, it can take a few weeks for us to adapt to the heat, especially regarding the body’s physiology. One of the ways that our bodies adapt to the heat is by learning to sweat better to act more effectively to cool us down.
If you believed sweating was an inconvenience, you’d be wrong, as it serves a purpose in hot weather or even if you’re just working out. But we stand by the heat, taking sweating to a new level. If the body has acclimatised to the heat, our body’s perspiration response wouldn’t be there. This would result in excessively high body temperatures, which make us feel drained. Let alone having a greater chance of heat stroke or fainting.
Top tip: A great way to reduce the chances of heat stroke and fatigue is to find cool, shaded areas often. Especially if you start to feel nauseous or faint.
Most people don’t realise that the seasons affect the body’s metabolism and, therefore, your energy levels. During warmer times of the year, our metabolism works slower than in cold periods.
When we are cold, our metabolic rate increases to keep our internal body temperature high, which means significant caloric expenditure. The hot weather has an adverse effect as our body temperature is already high enough. This means that our metabolism slows down to ensure we don’t overheat.
A slower metabolism can often leave us to feel lethargic and resemble the feeling of tiredness or a lack of energy. Although this process can be irritating, it’s definitely good to know that our bodies have a way of ensuring we don’t overheat.
Top tip: Regular strength training exercises can keep your metabolism up and running.
One of the main reasons for feeling tired in the heat can be dehydration. As you can probably guess, dehydration can lead to fatigue.
In hotter weather, you are more likely to become dehydrated because of the body’s ability to sweat and perspire. Because the body uses sweat to keep cool in the heat, you lose water faster than usual, leading to electrolyte imbalances. This can then transpire into physiological issues that encourage a reduction of energy and, in some cases, physical problems if not attended to quickly. We know you always hear about drinking water when it’s hot out, but it is essential for energy retention and health.
Top tip: It is encouraged that you drink plenty of water to replenish any water loss from sweating. You can also stay hydrated with fresh smoothies or juices.