According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, over 9,000 deaths in America were caused by heat-related causes since 1979.
As important as it is to get a regular workout into your daily routine, it’s also essential to take precautions against the summer sun. For people exercising in the heat, these tips can spell the difference between life and death.
Withstand the heat and get your exercise on this summer with these 10 tips for working out in the heat!
1. Stay Hydrated
You’re bound to work up a sweat while exercising under the blazing hot sun. Unfortunately, sweating causes our bodies to perspire the water we need to stay hydrated.
If you’re planning on working out in the heat, grab a water bottle before you go!
Otherwise, there are dire health consequences of dehydration.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dehydration can cause mood swings, constipation, overheating, kidney stones, and unclear thinking.
You can also experience light-headedness, nausea, and in extreme cases, death.
Water keeps our internal organs functioning properly. It also helps regulate our internal heat and flushes our waste.
To maintain proper hydration levels, drink the equivalent of half your body weight in ounces. You can also check the color of your urine to determine whether or not you’re hydrated. Dark-colored urine is often a sign of dehydration.
By staying hydrated, you can handle the heat and complete your summer exercise routine!
2. Time It Right
If you’re worried about heat exhaustion or enduring the humidity, the time it right!
Instead of heading out at noon while the sun is overhead, schedule your workouts for early mornings or in the evening.
Remember, outdoor temperatures climb throughout the day. Don’t wait until midday when those temperatures are sweltering.
Working out in the heat can cause fatigue and, as mentioned before, dehydration. Try to avoid working out between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm. Early morning is often better, while the air is still cool.
That way, you can minimize your exposure to the worst the summer sun has to offer.
3. Dress for Success
Your favorite workout clothes might contribute to your heat exposure.
While black appears slimming and sleek, dark materials also attract the heat. Instead, dress for outdoor success and choose brighter colors. That way, your clothing reflects the heat.
Cotton materials will also help your sweat evaporate while you’re working out.
You can also choose clothing that’s specially designed for hot exercising in the summer sun. These high-tech options use materials that are designed to keep your body cool during a workout.
They also minimize the stink your clothes will carry around after an intense workout.
With the right clothing, you can dress for success and withstand the heat.
4. Screen That Sunshine
Protect your skin when you step beneath that summer sun. Even during a cloudy, overcast day, the sun can still impact your skin health.
Apply SPF 30 or higher at least 30 minutes before your workout. If you plan on being out in the sun for a while, reapply between an hour or two hours. That way, you don’t have to worry about sweating off that first layer of sunscreen.
You can also use a sweat-proof brand that’s ideal for workouts.
A bad sunburn can increase your risk of skin disease. This can include skin cancer such as malignant melanoma.
Instead of risking your skin for the sake of a workout, grab that sunscreen and apply thoroughly.
5. Up Those Electrolytes
When we sweat, we don’t just release water. We’re also expelling salt and losing essential electrolytes.
There are a number of products that help you maintain the proper electrolyte levels, such as sports drinks and tablets.
Make sure to double check the ingredient list. Try to avoid drinks or products that use added sugars and artificial flavors.
Instead, choose a natural alternative such as coconut water. That way, you can replenish your electrolytes and feel refreshed during or after your workout.
Check out these different ways you can stay in shape this summer. Don’t forget to up those electrolytes while you’re at it.
6. Stay on the Shady Side
Sometimes the path less traveled by is the better option.
Instead of running in the street—directly under the sun—head towards the shade. By avoiding direct sunlight, you can also avoid heat fatigue and sun exposure.
Try to find a sidewalk that’s shaded by tree branches that loom overhead. That way, you have the perfect spot to stop, catch your breath, or stretch when you need to.
7. Don’t Weather Every Storm
Before your head out, check the day’s weather forecast. If it’s going to be a sunny scorcher, try to find an indoor alternative to working out in the heat. This goes for rainy days as well.
That way, you can avoid getting stuck in a storm—but still, get your daily workout in.
8. The Buddy System
Sometimes, working out is a lot more fun with a friend.
If you do exercise heat exhaustion or push yourself too far, a friend can be there to help. Having someone else participate in your daily workouts helps you avoid or navigate any accidents that may occur.
For another way to implement the buddy system into your workout, learn more about fitness with friends.
9. Adjust Your Goals
Your goal for the day—such as running a certain distance or time—will feel more difficult in warm weather.
When working out in the heat, adjust your goals. Keep it realistic and be careful not to push yourself too far.
10. Believe Your Body
Your body knows exactly how much it can handle. Instead of pushing yourself and causing physical strain, listen to your body.
If you’re feeling dehydrated, grab some water. If you’re feeling exhausted, take a break.
That way, you can avoid experiencing symptoms of dehydration and heat fatigue.
It’s No Sweat: 10 Tips for Working Out in the Heat
These 10 tips are no sweat, right? With this guide for working out in the heat, you can exercise and still survive the summer sun!
For more fitness tips and tricks, check out this section of the blog.