Tips for Working Out in the Heat

21st Aug 2023

Tips for Working Out in the Heat

Written by Joseph McCrory

It’s summer, and the sun is beating down—but you want to keep moving and stay fit.

So how do you keep working toward your training goals as the temperature soars?

Here are some tips—but first, why is it tougher to train when the temperatures reach HOT.  Heat adds more stress to the body.

With warmer weather, your body’s core temperature increases, and it has to work harder to regulate it. Your heart has to pump faster to deal with the stress of the temperature and your movement—as if the workout wasn’t challenging enough by itself!

If you have any specific heat-related concerns or medical conditions, be sure to contact a doctor before becoming active, but if you are generally healthy and active, these tips will help you keep moving this summer. Remember, if you feel unwell at any time when training in the heat, break off the session and get to a cooler place. If symptoms are extreme, contact a healthcare provider right away.

  1. Wear the right clothing—Be sure to wear lightweight, breathable clothes that encourage airflow. Modest people might not want to go with a bare-minimum approach, but others will find it helpful to take off as much clothing as possible.
  2. If outside the gym, manage the sun—Direct sunlight can really heat things up, so indoor workouts or shady spots are perfect. But if unavailable, wear sunscreen, protect your head with a hat, and wear light colors that do not absorb as much heat. You will probably sweat a lot, so make sure to reapply sunscreen as needed according to the instructions on the bottle.
  3. Enjoy the breeze, set up a fan, and “just add water”—Air movement is your friend when it is hot. Try to find breezy spots or fire up a fan to help you stay cool as you train. You might even dowse yourself with a garden hose or soak your hat in water from time to time to cool down.
  4. Train around the heat—Check the forecast, see when it is supposed to be coolest, and plan your workout for that time.
  5. Stay hydrated—You are going to sweat, so you need to take in some fluid to replace what you lose. Remember, it is also possible to drink too much, so do not overdo it here. For shorter workouts, just make sure you have water available and sip as needed before, during, and after the workout. For long, intense workouts or events, you should consult an expert who can ensure you have the right plan. As for sports drinks, they can be an option, but usually contain a lot of sugar. Be sure to check the labels so you pick beverages that support your goals.
  6. Reduce intensity as needed—If it feels like you are training in an oven, it is fine to slow down, rest more often, or take breaks. Remember, one workout is not going to make or break your training plan. If it’s 95F and you feel like a piece of bacon, adjust your plan. For example, you might cancel a high-intensity workout with sprinting, sled pushes, and pull-ups in favor of some heavy lifting in short sets with lots of recovery time between them. Or maybe you pass on the workout and ride your bike to a nearby pool for a dip.

Reach out if you have questions or need some expert advice on better managing the summer heat. We Can Help!