As the temperatures rise, exercising outside can feel really uncomfortable. It can be tempting to hibernate in an air-conditioned room! But don’t let the weather stop your fitness goals. With these seven clever tips, working out in hot weather will be a breeze.
Top Tips For Exercising In Hot Weather
1. Take A Hot Shower
In the heat of summer, a hot shower is probably the last thing on your mind. But according to a 2017 study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, it can actually cool you down.
Hot baths help your body get used to high temperatures. Essentially, it’s like practice. When it’s time to work out, you’ll sweat more early on. This decreases internal body temperature and keeps you cool for a longer time. As an added bonus, athletic performance will improve.1
2. Drink More Water
We all know to stay hydrated in the heat. However, it’s vital to drink water even before you work out. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty or start sweating. Fuel up on H2O before, during, and after working out. By drinking more water than usual, you can prevent heat-related illnesses.2
3. Wear White
When possible, go for white clothing. Black and dark colors absorb heat, which will make body temperature rise. Do yourself a favor and lighten up your outfit. Don’t have white garments? Light-colored clothing work just fine.3
4. Splash Water On Specific Body Parts
To decrease body temperature, sprinkle water on certain parts of the body. Aim for the back of your neck, ankles, wrists, and armpits. The blood vessels in these spots run closest to the skin, so water will cool the blood down. If you can, use a cold wet cloth. You can even place it in the freezer for a few minutes.4
5. Avoid Alcohol, Caffeine, And Sugar
During the summer, it’s not a bad idea to drink less booze. The alcohol simply increases how much fluid the body loses. Remember, you need to drink more water in the heat. Alcohol will just make things harder! Caffeine has a similar effect. Need a morning pick-me-up? Instead of coffee, eat a banana for a caffeine-free boost of energy. While you’re at it, avoid large amounts of sugar, as it will also promote fluid loss.5
6. Skip Hot Foods
If you eat before exercise, avoid hot foods like oatmeal or tea. The warmth will make the body lose more fluids.6 Instead, go for cooler meals like yogurt or smoothies. And don’t forget about that water!
7. Exercise Early
Waking up early might be a drag, but it’s one of the best ways to exercise in hot weather. This will limit the risk for heat-related illness. Plus, by working out in the morning, you’ll get a natural boost of energy before tackling the day. The sun is strongest from 10 A.M. to 4 P.M.7 When possible, do not exercise during this time.
During really hot days, consider hitting the gym. You can also work out at home. Most importantly, if you feel light-headed or have muscle cramps, stop exercising immediately.
|↑1||James, C. A., A. J. Richardson, A. G. B. Willmott, P. W. Watt, O. R. Gibson, and N. S. Maxwell. “Short-term heat acclimation and precooling, independently and combined, improve 5 km running performance in the heat.” The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research (2017).|
|↑2||Keep Your Cool in Hot Weather. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.|
|↑3, ↑5, ↑6||Heat Exhaustion. Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services.|
|↑4||Hyperthermia: too hot for your health. National Institutes of Health.|
|↑7||Sun Safety. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.|