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How to Exercise Outside in the Summer Heat

People who want to exercise throughout the summer may find the heat challenging. If you are not careful, you could suffer from a heat-related health issue such as heat stroke, heat exhaustion, or excessive dehydration. These conditions can significantly impede your progress toward achieving your fitness goals.

To begin, you first get a basic grasp of how heat affects your body, both the heat around you and the heat you produce yourself.

Whenever we engage in physical activity, our bodies produce heat. As a result, the body releases some heat into the air in the form of sweat to prevent itself from overheating. In addition, evaporation cools the skin’s surface when sweat changes from liquid to vapour. 

Therefore, you will sweat more when the temperature of the air around you is higher, when your body produces more heat due to exercise, or when both of these factors are present. Therefore, the ability to sweat during the hot summer months is beneficial for maintaining a healthy body temperature. In addition, to assist your body in cooling down after exercise, your body will reroute blood flow away from your internal organs and toward the blood arteries around your skin. 

How Does Heat Affect My Body?

Working out while the temperature is high places additional strain on your body. During physical activity, your core body temperature may increase if the atmospheric temperature and humidity are both high. As a result, your body will send extra blood to circulate through your skin to assist in its cooling process. This results in your muscles receiving less blood than usual, which in turn causes an increase in your heart rate.

When the humidity is high, your body is under additional strain since sweat cannot rapidly evaporate from the skin. Therefore, when you cease sweating in hot and humid conditions, you put yourself at a greater risk of being dehydrated, experiencing heat exhaustion, or even passing out from the heat. But how exactly does one distinguish between heat exhaustion and heat stroke? 

Heat Exhaustion vs. Heat Stroke

Heat exhaustion is a mild form of heat-related disease that can occur after several days of exposure to high temperatures and insufficient or imbalanced replacement of fluids. It is possible to get heat fatigue after being in hot environments. If the symptoms of heat exhaustion are not treated, the patient may develop heat stroke. The most severe form of heat-related disease is called heat stroke. Within 10 to 15 minutes, the body’s temperature may climb to 103 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

If you suspect that you are suffering from heat exhaustion, respond fast. First, find somewhere with air conditioning or cooler temperatures and lie down. Then, take a cold shower or apply cold compresses. Take off any items that are too tight or extra layers, and ensure you drink enough water or sports drink.

A heat stroke, as opposed to heat exhaustion, requires rapid medical assistance from a professional. Call 911 if you start to lose consciousness or can’t stop throwing up. While waiting for medical assistance, you should move to a location where the temperature is lower and apply cold compresses to your body.

The majority of heat-related illnesses are avoidable if appropriate precautions are taken. A gradual acclimation to physical activity in hot surroundings, which can take anywhere from seven to fourteen days to complete, is the most effective way to raise one’s threshold for heat and lower one’s chance of becoming ill from exposure to high temperatures. Give your body time to adjust to the new environment and gradually build up to exercising. 

8 Tips for Working Out in the Heat

Take a cold shower

It would be best if you showered in ice water before starting your workout. Stop using the blow dryer as soon as you get out of the shower and go for a moist head instead so that you can keep your cool while you’re working out. 

Stay hydrated with the RIGHT fluids

On a hot day, water is your best bet for remaining hydrated; however, if you exercise for more than an hour, you should also think about sipping on a sports drink now and again.

When working out for an extended period, especially when the temperature is high, it is necessary to drink sports drinks since they include potassium and electrolytes, which help your body rehydrate and refill itself. In addition, high quantities of sodium could benefit your health since sodium is essential for maintaining proper body temperature on hot days.

As with everything else, moderation is the way to go. 

Wear light clothing

Bright colours are beneficial because they reflect the sun and make you more aware of oncoming vehicles. Wearing bright colours will also help you stand out from the background. Cotton is a material that is both lightweight and inexpensive, and it can assist you in remaining dry.

Choose sweat-wicking shirts and shorts to keep the sweat at bay if you are willing to spend extra money on your workout attire. 

Don’t forget the sunscreen

Nothing is more frustrating than attempting to finish a summer workout while suffering from a sunburn that makes moving difficult. Applying sunscreen liberally will prevent a burn from occurring in the first place. Choose a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 50 and one that is water-resistant so that it does not rub off once you begin to sweat. 

Timing is everything

In the summer, it is common knowledge that the hours between 10 am and 3 pm are the warmest of the day. So, if you want to get in a good workout outside, try to schedule it before or after this window.

Many athletes believe that starting their workouts earlier in the day is the best way to maintain their energy levels throughout the day and have a more restful sleep at night. 

woman hula hoop

Don’t fear the water

Summer is an ideal time to cultivate a positive relationship with water. If the temperature outside is high, you should supplement your normal workout with a water sport like swimming, surfing, or stand-up paddle boarding (SUP). You may stay fit and healthy throughout the summer in a fun and novel way by participating in these activities, which will also help you to keep cool. In addition, you might discover a new activity that quickly becomes one of your favourites.

Would you rather run instead? You need not worry; there are other ways to participate in the activity on the sea. For example, if you ever find yourself in a situation that appears to be a “rainy day,” you might consider running with the rain rather than against it. Running on a rainy day can assist you in maintaining your body temperature, and many athletes believe that running in the rain is an energising and revitalising way to train.

Being well-prepared is essential to complete a run in the rain without incident. Put on reflective clothes and ensure that whatever you wear can withstand rain (this includes shoes and accessories such as a cell phone case). Avoid running near cars or other objects that might have problems seeing you.

Running in the rain won’t hurt you, but if you see lightning or hear thunder, you should get back inside as soon as possible to avoid getting caught outside in dangerous conditions. 

Take it indoors

If you have the necessary equipment, exercise indoors is fine, whether at your neighbourhood gym or even in your own home. On days when there is an excessive heat warning, this may be the wisest decision to make to stay cool and prevent a heat-related injury while still getting in your workout. 

Know your limits

Pay attention to how your body tells you it feels, and take a break if you start feeling lightheaded, queasy, or exhausted. It is preferable to take some time off to relax rather than overdo your workouts, risk getting sick or injured, and then be forced to give up working out completely.

Split your high-intensity workout into several shorter sessions and spread them out throughout the day if the summer heat makes it difficult to complete your typical routine at that level of difficulty. It will allow your body to relax and recharge without putting your efforts toward being fit or working out at risk.

This summer, remember to have fun while keeping cool and being careful. 

12 Tips For Exercising In Summer Heat

1. Ease Up.

You should be aware of when to slow down, particularly if you are travelling to a hot and humid region to which you are not accustomed. It is reasonable that you will be unable to perform your workout at the same intensity level as usual, which is perfectly OK.

If you usually run, you should stroll or jog instead. If you choose to walk, make sure to take it easy. As your body becomes accustomed to the heat, you should gradually increase the tempo of your workout and extend the amount of time you spend doing it.

Do consult your doctor if you have a medical condition and take prescription drugs to determine whether or not you have any additional safety precautions that you need to take. 

2. Avoid the hottest part of the day.

Get up early to enjoy the morning’s cooler temperatures, or wait until the evening or later to go out. First, take shelter in the shade during the hottest day, between 10 am and 4 pm. Then, leap into a swimming pool. Next, sign up for an aqua-aerobics lesson. Also, bring a spray bottle or fan with you to cool the skin’s surface. 

3. Wear light-coloured, lightweight clothing.

Because they are better at absorbing heat than lighter hues, dark clothes might give the impression that you are wearing a cozy blanket. Wearing clothes that are both heavy and snug will also make you feel warmer. Keep it loose. Keep it light. Your skin will receive more airflow, which will help maintain you at a comfortable temperature. 

4. Be sure to apply sunblock – UVA/UVB, preferably with titanium or zinc dioxide, or at least with avobenzone.

Even though the product promises to be sweat and waterproof for up to eight hours, it is recommended that you reapply the product every two hours. The integrity of many of these “everlasting” assertions is being looked into. A sunburn raises the risk of developing skin cancer and accelerates the skin’s aging process, both of which are associated with getting older faster. Wearing hats with broad brims is another helpful strategy for reducing time spent in the sun.

5. Drink up.

Increasing our heart rate and sweating during exercise contributes to a higher core temperature. If we are subjected to extremely high temperatures for an extended period, our natural cooling mechanism may begin to break down. The end effect might be heat exhaustion, an excruciating weariness that gives you the impression that taking even one more step could be your last. In addition, you run the risk of passing out from the heat.

Suppose there is also a significant increase in humidity. In that case, you are in a worse situation since your perspiration “clings” to your skin and does not evaporate as easily, which might cause your core temperature to rise even further.

Drink a lot of water to keep your body temperature down. Because the Pritikin Eating Plan is abundant in water-containing fruits and vegetables, you won’t need to drink water before your workout. However, it would help if you aimed to consume 8 to 10 ounces of water every 20 minutes while working out to stay hydrated. Drink at least an additional 8 ounces of water after you’ve finished your workout.

Consuming fruit or even carrot sticks or celery sticks during a break in your physical activity is another fantastic technique to assist in rehydrating your body. The consumption of fruit and vegetables will also assist in making up for the electrolyte loss. 

6. Keep track of your hydration levels.

Examining the colour of your urine is a reliable method for determining whether or not you are getting the recommended amount of fluids. You are adequately hydrated if it is a very light yellow, like lemonade. If it’s getting darker (more like the colour of apple juice), you need to drink more water.

However, you should be aware that some medications and supplements can alter the colour of your urine; as a result, even while this test is accurate for many people, it does not apply to all. Drinking the recommended 8 to 10 ounces of water per 20 minutes of activity will keep you healthy and prevent dehydration. 

7. Don’t drink too much.

Overhydration, often known as excessive water, can result in hyponatremia (low blood sodium). The following is a typical rule if you want to remain hydrated without becoming too so: Consume liquids before, during, and after engaging in any form of physical activity. Drink only when you are feeling thirsty during other times of the day.

The Pritikin Eating Plan supplies adequate sodium for physically active persons and supplies at least half of the water that your body requires. 

8. Steer clear of sports drinks.

They are an excellent source of calories. However, the calories contained in sports drinks are not worth it. Therefore, there is no requirement for any further supplementation at this time.

Only people at their ideal body weight and regularly engage in strenuous physical activity for lengthy periods should think about drinking sports beverages. Still, to prevent an excessive intake of calories, it is best to water down sports drinks as much as possible.

Consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables before, during, and after exercise supplies the body with adequate electrolytes, reducing the requirement for high-calorie sports drinks.

Remember that dehydration is the most common cause of muscular cramps, rather than a lack of electrolytes (potassium, magnesium, or calcium), low salt consumption, or low sugar intake. Dehydration causes muscles to contract more forcefully than the other causes. Increase the amount of water you drink before, during, and after exercise, even if you don’t feel thirsty. It is a better alternative to eating excessive bananas or other salty or sugary snacks. (Use the urine-colour tracking tip explained before to track how well you are hydrated.) 

9. Never let yourself get to the point where you’re feeling faint, dizzy, and sick.

You are in great pain because you could not complete your four-mile workout. If I were so direct, I would like to suggest that giving it a shot could end your life. Be mindful of how hot it is. Pay attention to your bodily cues. If you are experiencing any of the following, you should seek the comfort of air conditioning as soon as possible.

  • Weakness
  • Light-headedness
  • Feeling faint or tingling on the skin
  • Headache
  • Muscle cramps
  • A feeling of sickness or puking
  • A racing heartbeat

Always keep in mind that even a little workout of twenty minutes has the potential to improve your health. It is not the amount of time spent exercising at any specific session but the total number of days spent exercising that is most important.

man squat gym

10. If you do feel faint or sick, stop immediately.

Sit in the shade, drink water, and always have some wholesome snacks. Pick juicy foods like fruit. Dry snacks like crackers, popcorn, or energy bars that require your body to add water are the last thing you need when the temperature soars above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, dry snacks frequently include a high number of calories, which means they can easily thwart efforts to lose weight, regardless of the season. 

11. Know the symptoms of heat stroke.

A stroke caused by excessive heat is a major risk that can even be fatal. Among the symptoms are:

  • An elevated temperature of the body (104 F or 40 C or higher)
  • Absence of sweating accompanied by flushing, redness, or dryness of the skin, rapid heart rate
  • Having trouble with one’s breathing
  • Strange behaviour and hallucinations are both symptoms
  • Confusion
  • Agitation
  • Disorientation
  • Seizure
  • Coma
  • And in the absence of treatment, death

There is not always much of a warning, and this is especially true for athletes who practice in hot and humid circumstances, as well as for young children and older people. However, do not leave children or older adults alone in a hot car; no one, including your pets, should ever be left unattended.

12. If you suspect that you or others are suffering heat stroke, call 911 immediately.

In addition to this, move to an area that is shaded, drink or spray cool water, abstain from alcoholic beverages and caffeine (which can be found in tea and soft drinks), place ice packs under the armpits and groin, and use a fan until the body temperature drops to 101 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius. 

How to Work Out When It’s Hot as Hell Outside

1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

The higher the temperatures, the greater the likelihood of becoming dehydrated. Everything from how tired you feel to your ability to remember things in the near term might be impacted when you lose a significant volume of water. Staying hydrated is everything. Be sure to drink 16 to 24 ounces of water one to two hours before exercising, and then drink 4 to 6 ounces every 15 to 20 minutes while you’re working out. 

2. Keep your cooling points in mind.

Keeping your pulse points in mind will allow you to take a more targeted approach to cool down. Consider the hands and the neck as a starting point. It’s very simple to put into use. Put some water on it, wring it out, give it a few good yanks, and then sling it around your neck for quick relief. What is the result? You will feel cooler for up to an hour if you lower the blood temperature in your arms and neck, as this blood will eventually be reabsorbed into the bigger flow in your body. 

3. Hit the sand.

The beach may be used for more than just tanning and drinking in summer. A series of beach sprints are an excellent way to challenge your muscles and strengthen your joints simultaneously. The sand is low-impact, saving your joints from the pounding they experience on paved streets, but it presents an additional resistance challenge, ratcheting up the intensity of your workout. The sand is low-impact, saving your joints from the hammering they take on paved streets. 

4. Toss that extra electrolyte beverage.

Electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and calcium can be found in sweat. Unfortunately, when you put much effort into the gym, your body can lack those elements. But you should think carefully about reaching for a sugary, electrolyte-rich drink like Gatorade before you do so. While being hydrated is essential, you do not require a substantial electrolyte liquid when working out. That can be obtained by consuming meals, after which your glycogen stores will be in good shape.

Instead, it would be best to focus your post-workout efforts on eating smart, aiming for a ratio of protein to carbohydrates between 1:2 and 1:4 to restore muscle glycogen. The plant-based smoothie that the S10 Training coach generally refuels consists of proteins derived from peas and rice, banana, and various berries. 

5. Get Naked-er

Working out in hot conditions causes your core temperature to rise more quickly than it normally would, which places additional strain on the body. If you wear less clothing, the barrier that prevents sweat from evaporating, which causes cooling, will be reduced. Choose a light and loose article of clothing if you don’t feel comfortable wearing skin-tight Chubbies and a tank top. Summer is the perfect excuse to buy new brightly coloured workout clothing to reflect the heat. Put another way. You should put away those black compression leggings and keep them for the fall. 

6. Make sure you have a plan.

With a to-do list, your workout has the same potential to save time as your workday. Having a strategy in place, particularly when the temperature is high, may turn something laborious into a piece of cake. Planning, preparing, and executing your exercises is the most effective strategy to get through the summer workouts. When it gets warm outside, my go-to exercise is running with a friend or sprinting to a friend’s house. Choose a local farmer’s market, your go-to smoothie bar, or even the establishment with the most exciting happy hour in the area. When you can’t stop thinking about how hot it is outside, it gives you something to look forward to, and that’s a good thing. 

7. Less is more.

It is never a good idea to spend hour after hour working out in the sun (mainly because that Netflix queue won’t watch itself). High-intensity interval training (HIIT) can be your saviour from June through September. In these quick-burst exercises, you may obtain maximal burn in a shorter time and avoid overexposure to the sun by working out even as you recover from heart-racing anaerobic intervals. It allows you to maximise your results in a shorter amount of time. The non-stop strategy keeps your metabolism revved up even after the workout, allowing you to continue burning calories for up to 48 hours after moving. 

11 Tips for Exercising Outdoors in the Summer Heat and Humidity

When you exercise outside during the summer, how can you ensure you don’t get too hot and pass out? These are 11 tips. 

1. Let Your Body Acclimate to the heat

Regardless of their degree of fitness, everyone needs some time to adjust to the higher temperatures. According to a study in the April 2019 issue of the journal American Family Physician, failing to do so is one of the risk factors for heat-related illness. Other risk factors include having low physical fitness and engaging in vigorous exercise.

Heat acclimatisation helps prevent the system from being shocked when training by allowing the body to become accustomed to functioning in greater temperatures and also allows the body to get used to operating in higher temperatures. If you take this step, you can exercise at a greater level for a long time while keeping a lower body temperature while the temperature outside is high. In addition, it will allow you to withstand the heat better.

It is recommended to begin your transition to the new climate by beginning your workouts at a shorter duration and gradually increasing your routine’s duration and intensity for ten to fourteen days. It should be done either as the weather changes or if you travel to a location with much warmer temperatures than you are accustomed to. Exercises that are very strenuous or last long should be avoided in the heat until you have acclimated. 


2. Know Your Risk

Heat affects everyone differently due to the various elements that come into play (age, heredity, fitness level, and other health conditions), but certain groups should take additional measures. Individuals who are generally at a higher risk of becoming ill due to heat exposure include the following:

  • Older adults
  • Individuals who don’t exercise very frequently
  • Individuals who already have serious health problems, such as coronary artery disease
  • Those who are suffering from severe illnesses such as high fevers and upper respiratory infections
  • Those individuals who are taking specific medications, such as diuretics and treatments for COPD

If this describes you, you need to take extra precautions when working out with a high temperature. However, there are instances when it can be preferable to exercise inside where there is air conditioning.

3. Don’t Forgo Pre-Workout Hydration

Maintaining adequate hydration is essential throughout the year, but it takes on an even greater significance when temperatures are high. Drink plenty of water for two to three hours before engaging in physical activity. In addition to the 125 ounces (oz) and 91 oz of water that men and women, respectively, should be consuming daily (according to the National Institute of Medicine Food and Nutrition Board), you should aim to consume six millilitres of water per kilogram of body mass before working out. It will help hydrate your muscles and keep you from dehydrating during your workout. Of course, drinking water before working out is always a good idea, but drinking beverages that include electrolytes is an even better method to keep yourself hydrated.

Observing the colour of your urine, in addition to determining whether or not you are urinating approximately the same amount as usual, is one method for determining whether or not you are adequately hydrated. If you are adequately hydrated, your urine should have a colour closer to clear than yellow, and you should urinate roughly the same amount as normal. 

4. Eat for Hydration

Eating foods with water content throughout the day is another way to increase your body’s hydration. Cucumbers and watermelon are two examples of foods with high water content. 

5. Don’t Eat Too Much Beforehand

It is best to avoid having a large meal before working out when the temperature is high. Digesting food demands a lot of energy. Digestion generates additional heat and diverts blood flow away from the muscles being worked during physical activity. When your body attempts to digest food while still moving vigorously, stomach discomfort can follow, turning an otherwise enjoyable workout into a miserable experience. 

6. Wear Heat-Appropriate Clothing

Put on clothes that will allow heat to flow away from your body. The greatest way to keep the body cool is to wear clothing that is light in colour and has a loose fit. Also, watch for lightweight, moisture-wicking textiles generally made of synthetic materials (it should say so on the label). 

7. Use Sun Protection

More than just the heat and humidity can be a problem throughout the summer. However, the most important thing you can do to protect yourself from getting skin cancer is to limit your time spent in the sun.

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends using a generous amount of sunscreen and selecting a product with an SPF value of at least 15. Then, apply it all over your body 30 minutes before you go out, using two tablespoons’ worth for each application. The standard recommendation is to reapply the sunscreen every two hours; however, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends reapplying it every hour if you are sweating while wearing it.

Additionally, consider purchasing clothing with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF), analogous to SPF but applies to headgear and garments. According to the American Academy of Optometry, you should also wear sunglasses that block between 75 and 90 per cent of visible light and 99 to 100 per cent of UVA and UVB radiation. You should also make sure that your eyes are protected from the sun. 

8. Carry water (or Know Where to Find It During Your Workout)

Bring water with you if the temperature is expected to be above 80 degrees Fahrenheit (or plan ahead of time where on your exercise route you can find some).

If you exercise for 10 to 20 minutes in the heat, you need to refill your body with 7 to 10 ounces of water for every 10 minutes of exercise. And if your workout continues longer than an hour, consider adding an electrolyte supplement to your water. These supplements assist the body in maintaining its fluid balance, which is vital when working hard and sweating a lot. 

9. Avoid Middle-of-the-Day Workouts

Depending on where you live and the time of year, the midday sun can add approximately 20 degrees to the temperature. Therefore, it indicates that the middle of the day is often the hottest.

While going for a run, jogging, or riding your bike, select a path with more shade wherever feasible, and try to avoid exercising when the sun is at its zenith, typically between 10 am and 4 pm. 

10. Monitor the Air Quality Index (AQI)

When people exercise outside, they become increasingly concerned that air quality affects the exchange of oxygen in the lungs. Persons who suffer from asthma and allergies have a greater chance of developing difficulties while exercising in areas where the air quality is poor. Conversely, your body can work more effectively when the air quality is higher.

When is it too dangerous to exercise outside if the AQI (a measurement that considers ozone, particle pollution, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide) is high? Anything with a rating of 50 or higher (see the local forecasts or use AirNow to determine the air quality in your city) can present difficulties for persons whose health is already affected. So play it safe by selecting times of the day when the AQI is lower. Then, adjust your plans by shifting your activity indoors, reducing its intensity, or lengthening its duration.  

11. Tailor Your Workout to the Weather

Your most strenuous workouts should be preserved for something other than the year’s hottest days. When the temperature and humidity are high, it is best to reduce the intensity of your workout and choose activities with less of an impact on your body and shorter workouts.

You should also consider doing something that would allow you to stop, drink water, and enable your heart rate to slow down. For example, if you belong to a gym, you perform your warm-up and cool-down activities there so that you spend less time outside in the heat.

According to the American Academy of Sports Medicine, the likelihood of suffering from a heat-related injury increases when the temperature exceeds 176 degrees Fahrenheit and the relative humidity exceeds 75 per cent. Therefore, considering the abovementioned factors, consider modifying your workout with one of the above methods. 


Keep in mind that the majority of heat-related ailments may be avoided. Split your high-intensity workout into several shorter sessions and spread them out throughout the day if the summer heat makes it difficult to complete your typical routine at that level of difficulty. Take the necessary steps and have a fun and safe summer outside!

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