9 Tips for Exercising in The Summer Heat

Written by

Getting outdoors during the summer months is a fantastic way to rejuvenate your workout program and recharge your batteries after being indoors all winter long. With that said, the hot temperatures require you to be extra cautious when exercising outdoors. Here are some tips for staying safe and making the most out of your summer workouts.

Wear Loose Clothing
What you wear while exercising makes a significant difference in the warm weather. Lightweight and breathable clothes are a must. Dr. Navya Mysore, MDCM says to consider investing in moisture-wicking gear that's made to help absorb sweat when choosing summer exercise clothing.

Staying hydrated is key to a successful summer workout. Aaptiv trainer Rochelle Baxter-Moncourtois says your body needs the right amount of electrolytes and salt, and you lose them both when you sweat in the summer heat. Mysore recommends drinking a few glasses of water before your exercise, and to continue hydrating during and after your workout. 

Protect Your Skin
This should be a no-brainer, but so many times we head outdoors and forget to lather up with sunscreen. Mysore recommends at least SPF 45. She also suggests wearing a hat or visor to prevent sun directly hitting your face. This helps to keep your body temperature down.

Consider a Cold Shower
Remember as a kid how good it felt to run through the sprinkler on a hot day? Well, being an adult is no different. Cold water can help your body cool down. That's why Mysore recommends taking a cold shower before you exercise to lower your body temperature, especially if you're heading out for a run on a scorching day. 

Pay Attention to Body Signals 
Make sure you pay attention to how you feel during your workout. "If you are feeling nauseous, dizzy or faint, stop your work out and rest," says Mysore. If the temperatures are above 90 degrees, consider slowing down your pace. Exercising in the heat is a lot harder than it looks. 

Adjust Your Timing 
It's no secret that heat peaks in the middle of the day. If you can, avoid late-morning and mid-day exercise. Instead, aim for early morning or later in the day, around dusk. 

Head to the Pool
Personal trainer, nutritionist and fitness chef, Ashley Walter says water workouts are great during the summer. "They are just as diverse as the workout classes you see in a gym, and the combo of resistance training and cardio is ideal for building lean muscles," she says.  

Walter says to focus on laps with big strokes to work your full body. You can also use a foam ball between your legs to solely focus on your arms or a kick-board to concentrate on your legs. She also recommends wearing a tight-fitting suit for optimal movement. And don't forget a water bottle--even though it's less noticeable, you sweat in the pool, too. 

Invest in Portable Equipment 
Most of us want to get outside and take advantage of the sunlight and warm weather at some point during the summer. But how do you get a workout in when the equipment is all at the gym? Adam Son, a certified personal trainer at AchieveFit says to purchase low-cost items that are easy to transport in order to make the most out of an outdoor workout. 

"Equipment like resistance bands with handles, mini-bands, jump ropes and sliders (like furniture sliders) are extremely portable and very cheap," he says. In fact, most of the items can be purchased for around $20 or less online, with many of them being less than $10. The versatility of these items allows you to get a lot of different workouts done with minimal equipment. 

Hit the Gym When Temperatures Soar
Sure, we like being outdoors and soaking up the sun, but when the heat becomes unbearable, exercising in the air conditioning makes a whole lot of sense. Baxter-Moncourtois says she prefers to head to the gym more often in the summer since it's air-conditioned. "This way, I can do my strength training and treadmill runs without getting overheated."