6 Tips for Exercising in the Heat

July 2019

Use these summer workout hints to prioritize safety while staying fit this season.

One of the tips for exercising in the heat is to fuel up with the right foods.

Exercising in the heat can be a fun way to work up a sweat while crushing your fitness goals – but it’s vital to take precautions to help prevent heatstroke, dehydration, and other medical conditions during your summer workout routine. Follow these tips for exercising safely under the summer sun:

  1. Fuel up with the right foods
  2. Stay hydrated
  3. Wear sunscreen
  4. Choose the proper clothing
  5. Take shady breaks
  6. Know your limits

Whether your outdoor exercise preference is running, biking, boot camps in the park, or another way to get your heart rate up, learn more about each summer workout tip below.

Fuel up with the right foods

Just like a car needs the right kind of fuel to drive, your body will perform better when you give it the nourishment it needs before working out. While you don’t want to be too full while you’re exercising in the heat, try a light snack of bananas, raisins, and/or pomegranate juice before your summer workout. The mix of natural carbohydrates, potassium, and plant compounds can help provide steady energy and reduce muscle soreness.

Stay hydrated

Exercising in the heat has one very natural outcome – sweating! And when you’re losing fluids from perspiration, you need to replenish them or risk dehydration. Get a good reusable water bottle and make sure to bring it along to your summer workout. If you’re doing a distance-based exercise like running where you don’t want to carry a water bottle with you, there are backpack- or vest-style hydration packs to help you sip on the go.

Wear sunscreen

While it’s nice to be outside enjoying the sun on your face, it’s important to do it safely. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends wearing sunscreen whenever you plan to be outside. Even if you’re working out on a cloudy day, you’re still exposed to UV rays. Choose a broad-spectrum summer workout sunscreen of at least 30 SPF that’s labeled as sweat-proof or water-resistant. Sunglasses and hats can provide extra protection as well. If possible, time your workouts in the early morning or evening when the sun is least intense.

Choose the proper clothing

Summer workout clothing that’s too tight, heavy, or dark can make your body retain too much heat, which raises your risk of developing warning signs of heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion and cramps. Instead, choose light-colored, breathable clothing, ideally made of moisture-wicking fabrics like nylon or polyester.

Take shady breaks

Even if you’re wearing sunscreen, moisture-wicking clothing, and drinking water, being out in the sun too long could give you a heat headache or make you feel tired. This tip for exercising in the heat encourages you to take occasional cool-down periods. During or after your workout session, find a shady spot to try some relaxing yoga poses that will cool your body temperature, slow your breathing, and loosen up your muscles.

Know your limits

Finally, while it’s good to challenge yourself, hot weather isn’t the time to push your physical limits too far. When exercising in the heat, aim for a comfortable pace and duration. If you start feeling tired or shaky or you’re pouring sweat faster than you can drink water, it might be time to call it a day. When you want to work out more vigorously, it’s best to try it in a more forgiving environment indoors or wait until cooler weather rolls around again in the fall.

For exercise ideas that are fun too, check out these healthy summer activities all around the Beaver Dam area.

If you’re pregnant, be sure to talk with your provider about safe ways to exercise in the heat. To schedule an appointment with our doctors, midwives, and women’s health team, call 920.885.6090 or reach out to us online to request an appointment.

This is a public forum, by which BDWH provides general information to patients and prospective patients. You should not post any personal or identifying information on this Blog. The information that appears on this Blog does not constitute medical advice and is not a substitute for a consultation with a Healthcare Professional.

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