Whether you’re already exercising regularly or are just starting an exercise program, you’ll want to take extra precautions when exercising during the summer months. Along with higher temperatures comes an increased risk of dehydration and sunburn, which can make it more difficult to get motivated to head outside for a workout.
Follow our summer workout tips below to stay safe and enjoy your summer exercise routine!
1. Work out early in the morning or later in the evening.
During the summer months, it’s best to head outdoors to get in your workout early in the morning before the temperatures soar. If you can’t squeeze a morning workout in, wait until the evening, when the temperatures have fallen and the sun has set. Avoid exercising during the hottest part of the day, usually between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. (unless you’re training for an event that takes place in the daytime heat). If possible, choose shaded trails or pathways that keep you out of the sun.
2. Wear light-colored, breathable clothing.
Lighter colored clothing helps to reflect heat, whereas dark clothing absorbs heat and puts you at risk for overheating. If you can, get yourself some running tops and shorts that are specially designed with flexible, sweat-wicking material for a more comfortable workout.
3. Slather on the sunscreen.
It’s extremely important to protect your skin during your workout to avoid sunburn and sun damage. Play it safe with a higher SPF (45 or higher), even on cloudy days.
4. Stay hydrated.
Drink a glass or two of water before your workout. Bring a bottle of water or a hydration pack along and take a drink every 15 or 20 minutes while exercising, even when you’re not thirsty. Immediately following your workout, have one or two more glasses of water. Avoid drinking coffee before working out, as it can dehydrate you.
5. Check the weather forecast
Before heading out, check if there’s a heat advisory. If so, this means there is high ozone and air pollution, making it a less-than-optimal environment for exercise, as these pollutants can damage your lungs. If this is the case, consider working out indoors (see some indoor workout suggestions below).
6. Stay cool with these indoor workout ideas
For days when it’s just too hot to comfortably or safely exercise outdoors, keep these indoor workout ideas as a backup so you don’t have to skip your workout altogether!
- Bike: Try an indoor cycling class at a local gym or fitness studio.
- Swim: Head to your gym or community center’s indoor pool to get in some laps. Swimming is an effective, low-impact exercise that will leave you feeling refreshed.
- Rock climb: Indoor rock climbing is physically and mentally challenging, making for a rewarding workout.
- Dance: Dancing is a great workout that will lift your spirits, and you don’t need any special moves to do it. Just put on some motivating music and start moving in the privacy of your home!
- Jump: If you have a trampoline park nearby, take the whole family along for a fun indoor workout. Jumping on a trampoline is an excellent cardiovascular workout, and it’s easy on your joints!
- Yoga: Give your mind and body a workout by doing a yoga video at home or taking a class at your gym, yoga studio or community center. With a variety of yoga styles, you’ll find something to suit your needs and interests.