5 Tips For Exercising During A Heat Wave

When you’re trying to stay fit, a heat wave is the last thing you need. But don’t let high temps stand in your way. With the right approach, you can safely exercise throughout the summer. Remember, the heat can take a toll on your body, even when you’re not working out.

What if you’re hitting the pavement? It can be extremely uncomfortable and dangerous, for your health. Just ask any personal trainer. They know a thing or two about safety, especially when it comes to your surroundings. Thinking about the conditions you exercise in is important. During a heat wave, there’s a right and wrong way to work out.


Five Tips To Exercise Safely In Summer

1. Keep Yourself Hydrated

Keep yourself hydrated from the heat

Drink lots of water, even if you’re not going to exercise. A heat wave can cause fluid loss from excessive sweating. When you exercise, the chances of losing fluids only increases. Feeling dehydrated can feel really uncomfortable. If you have mild to moderate dehydration, you may have a dry mouth, dark urine, headaches, or muscle cramps.


If you have severe dehydration, you may have dizziness, lightheadedness, and rapid heartbeat.1 So, stay hydrated even before you exercise. Don’t wait until you break a sweat! Hydrating before, during, and after workouts will improve both performance and safety. Even if you don’t feel thirsty, drink up.2

2. Set Boundaries To Stay Safe From The Heat

Set boundaries to not push yourself


In the fitness world, pushing yourself is encouraged. However, you need to know your limits, especially during a heat wave. Intense exercise can lead to heat-related illness. If you feel discomfort or pain, your body is trying to tell you something – listen to it. Muscle spasms and heavy sweating may lead to heat cramps, so don’t move until they go away.

Heat exhaustion, which is more severe than heat cramps, is caused by dehydration. It means that your body is having a hard time cooling down. If it progresses, you can have a heat stroke. This is life-threatening and warrants a 911 call.3


3. Get Up Early

Get up before the heat of the day

A morning exercise is like a natural wake-up call. It’ll give you a serious energy boost – minus the caffeine. In the summer as well, mornings are the best time to work out because the sun is strongest between 10 am and 4 pm.4 Use this as a motivation to get up early and exercise. This way, you can beat the heat and feel energized.


4. Use Sunscreen

Use a sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun

Always wear sunscreen. It’s the best way to protect yourself from the sun’s harsh UV (ultraviolet) rays. It’ll prevent sunburns, and most importantly, skin cancer. The sunscreen should offer protection from both UVA (ultraviolet A) and UVB (ultraviolet B) sun rays. Preferably use SPF (sunscreen protection from) 15 or higher. Don’t forget your neck, ears, and face. Wear a hat, sunglasses, and clothes that cover your arms and legs.5


5. Wear Sweat-Resistant Clothing

Wear protective gear from the sun

During a workout, sweating is inevitable. A heat wave will just make it worse! To stay dry, wear moisture-wicking fabric. It’ll let your body breathe by pulling sweat away from the skin. Look for fabrics like polyester and polypropylene. The tags should say “sweat-resistant” or “moisture-wicking.” These options might be pricier, but the extra cash will be worth it. Avoid nylon, which will just trap the moisture on your skin.


Another option is to exercise at home or in a gym. The risk for heat-related illness and sunburns is significantly less. If that’s not an option, follow these tips to stay safe.