6 Summer Workout Safety Tips

summer workout

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.

4 Tips for a more effective workout

workout tips

Regular physical activity is crucial to weight loss and a healthy lifestyle. Dr. Dirk recommends daily exercise to burn calories and strengthen your muscles and heart.

There are as many different fitness routines as there are gym-goers. How do you know how to get the most out of your workout? Here are some tips to make your workouts as effective as possible.

Build up to more intense workouts

If the goal of your workouts is to shed pounds, build muscle strength and boost cardiovascular endurance, aim to gradually increase the intensity of your workouts. Short, high-intensity workouts can deliver the same or better results than longer, less intense workouts.

Interval training is a great way to implement high-intensity workouts. Instead of slowly performing an exercise, then taking a 5 to 10-minute break to chit-chat or check social media, alternate between high-intensity and low-intensity exercises for 20 or 30 minutes.

Research shows that high-intensity interval workouts are vastly more effective at cutting fat and decreasing weight than steady state cardio. 20 minutes of high-intensity interval training leads to more weight loss than 40 minutes of steady-intensity exercise.

Focus on form

Before you ramp up the intensity, though, make sure you have great form. When exercising, you may feel motivated to add on the weights or go harder and faster.

But exercise form is the foundation of your workouts. Without good form, you won’t get the full benefits of an exercise, and worse, you’ll risk injuring yourself.

In general, align your body correctly and move smoothly through each exercise. Always be in control of your weights — don’t swing or jerk them around. Concentrate on slow, smooth lifts and equally controlled relaxing movements.

Perform exercises that pack a greater punch

Certain exercises are more effective than others. Why spend time and effort on less effective workouts when you can get more bang for your buck with others?

Some of these great all-around exercises include swimming, tai chi, strength training and walking.

Swimming takes the strain off your joints while delivering a strong calorie-burning, toning and cardiovascular health boosting workout. Tai chi focuses on physical movement coupled with mental focus and helps reduce stress.

Strength training is less about bulking up than it is about keeping your muscles in good working form. Plus, strength training allows helps you better manage your weight, since the more muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn.

Finally, walking is a simple, free and beneficial for everything from keeping your cholesterol low, strengthening your bones, maintaining a good blood pressure, keeping you in high spirits and lowering your risk for several diseases.

Listen to music

Research shows that listening to music while exercising actually has a range of positive benefits, enabling a more effective workout.

Listening to music can distract you from fatigue, elevate your mood, increase your endurance and may even promote metabolic efficiency.

Regular physical activity is part of healthy living. There are no shortcuts, but you can implement these effective ways to exercise to get the most out of your time and effort.