Beat the Heat: Tips for Safe Summer Workouts

Ready for the summer? Here are a few tips to help you get through the hottest months of the year as an active person.

Beat the Heat: Tips for Safe Summer Workouts
María Rubio María Rubio
5 min read

Summer is almost here, which means that many active people are hard at work trying to accomplish their fitness goals before their long-awaited summer vacation. Whether you’re trying to get in shape on time or simply trying to keep up with your goals and stay accountable, there’s one thing that we can all agree on – summer heat is no joke!

Since this is the hottest season of the year, you need to take certain precautions when it comes to working out to make sure the extreme heat doesn’t get to you, especially if you already live in a particularly hot area. Even if you train at the gym with the AC on full blast, it’s still important to take precautions, and we’ll help you do just that.

In this article, we’ll go over a few do’s and don’ts for working out in the heat of the summer to help you thrive this season and stay safe without falling victim to a bad case of heat exhaustion, so keep reading!

Stay hydrated with more than just water

As an active person, you already know how essential water is for your body. Drinking plenty of water before your workout, during, and after is necessary in order to keep your muscles in tip-top shape by flushing out toxins and carrying nutrients all around your body. However, sometimes plain water isn’t enough!

When exercising in hot weather, you lose more water through sweat, meaning that you lose more electrolytes. If you’ll be working out for around an hour or more, electrolyte water and sports drinks in general will be your best friends! They will help replenish those electrolytes and keep you hydrated properly throughout your workout.

Change your workout schedule

If you’re someone that works out around noon, from the times of 10 AM to 3 PM, then you’ll probably need to reconsider your schedule when summer arrives. This is because around noon is when it’s hottest outside due to the position of the sun, and during the summer the heat gets even more amplified.

To avoid the unpleasant noon heat, consider working out at a different time. You can do a later workout when the sun has set, but if you want to work out when it’s nicer outside, then early morning workouts are the ones you want! You can take advantage of the cool morning air and get your reps in before the heat starts to settle in.

Avoid hefty meals before working out

Having a nutritious meal before a workout with plenty of carbs and protein is a great way to prepare your body for what’s about to come. However, if you know you’ll be exercising in the heat, try your best to have a lighter meal before your workout instead of a big one, such as a pre-workout snack.

The reason is that digestion requires energy, which in turn raises your body temperature, something you definitely don’t want in the middle of your summer workout. And this goes for after your workout too! Hydrate well after exercising, but wait a little until your next meal to allow your body temperature to go back to its usual state.

Wear breathable clothing

If there’s something you’ll want to avoid at all costs during the summer is wearing clothes that will trap the heat instead of letting it flow. Your body is already producing more heat due to the high temperature, so this excessive heat trapped around your body will only lead to more sweating and quick exhaustion.

Make sure to pick a workout outfit that’s fitting for the heat, such as synthetic fabrics which are super lightweight and breathable. If you’re exercising outside, go for light colors that can reflect the sun instead of absorbing it, and always wear a hat to protect your scalp – just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not exposed!

Slow down if you need to

It’s perfectly OK if you want to make sure you stick to your fitness goals through the summer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take it easy on the hotter days. Sometimes, when exhaustion starts to hit, you need to be gentler on yourself to avoid completely burning out.

Slowing down can mean shortening your workouts on truly hot days, or maybe reducing the intensity at which you train. You can also change things up and try lower-impact workouts or even yoga, which helps you build muscle and burn calories without having to move around too much. Your choice!

Use plenty of sunscreen

Planning on taking your workouts outdoors, such as running, hiking, or maybe trying a ball sport? Then you need to take good care of your skin and use sunscreen on both your face and body to avoid those uncomfortable sunburns that prevent you from being able to move the next day.

On top of sunburns being super annoying, your skin plays a big role in regulating your body temperature, so you want to make sure you’re protecting it with a good SPF of at least 15 that blocks the sun from damaging your skin. And remember to reapply it every couple of hours to keep that barrier up!

Know the signs of heat exhaustion

Listening to your body should be your priority every time you work out, especially during the heat of the summer when you’re prone to a heat-related illness. Knowing when to take a break and cool yourself down is essential, so here are the main signs you might be suffering from heat exhaustion:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Heavy sweating
  • Weakness
  • Muscle cramping

If you start feeling like something might be wrong, then it probably is and you should stop what you’re doing and rest. Heat exhaustion can be a real problem for active people during the hottest months of the year and can even lead to heat stroke, so take care of yourself and always listen to what your body is telling you!

Be aware of your risks

Anyone can experience heat exhaustion, but some people are more at risk than others and need to take further precautions, such as avoiding outdoor workouts during the summer or keeping their workouts very light.

People with heart conditions are top of the list when it comes to heat risk, but you can also have a bad experience with hot weather if you’re older or take medications such as diuretics. And if you’re someone who’s not adapted to the heat, working out in hot weather, or even in general, you also need to be extra careful – heat is a serious thing!

Enjoy your summer workouts safely

If you’re serious about your achieving your fitness goals but also about enjoying the summer season, then make sure to follow these tips! You can’t control the weather but you definitely can control the way you approach fitness during the summer, so keep that bottle of water with you at all times and stay safe.

Looking for an effective summer workout plan that you can follow?

Check out the One Fitness app!The app features weekly goal-focused workouts created by Iulia herself with the appropriate training splits and resting times to help you achieve your fitness goals. Simply download the One Fitness app and try our 7-day free trial today!