How to Exercise Safely Even in Hot Weather

As the sun beats down and the thermometer registers record-breaking temperatures, it can be tempting to retreat to your bed and abandon your fitness routine until cooler days return. With heat indexes soaring beyond 40°C, who can blame you?

That said, there are many ways you can circumvent the heat and continue your fitness journey despite the obnoxiously scorching weather. By following these smart strategies for safe summer workouts, you can win over the heat and keep moving with confidence.

Stay Cool Indoors

When the summer sun is blazing, one of the safest options for exercise is to stay indoors in a climate-controlled environment. Not only will this shield you from the scorching heat, but it also provides a comfortable setting where you can focus on your workout without the distraction of extreme temperatures.

If you prefer to work out at your home gym, you can make the space more comfortable by investing in a high-quality split type air conditioner. Set to a comfortable temperature, the air conditioner will allow you to run on the treadmill, follow a workout video, or strength train without worrying about overheating.

Workout During the Coolest Times of the Day

If outdoor exercise is more your style, it’s crucial to choose the coolest times of the day for your workout. This will mitigate the risk of heatstroke and other heat-related conditions. 

The recommended times for outdoor workouts may vary according to location. However, in the Philippines, experts warn against exercising outside between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM. During these times, the sun is at its peak and the temperature is at its highest. In short, working out under that kind of heat is merely asking for trouble.

For your safety, opt instead for early mornings and late evenings for your workout schedule to ensure milder temperatures. Plus, there’s something invigorating about starting or ending your day with a refreshing outdoor sweat session.

Keep Hydrated When Working Out

One of the most critical aspects of exercising—whether in hot weather or otherwise—is staying hydrated. As your body sweats to cool itself down, it loses essential fluids that must be replenished to prevent dehydration. While the recommended water intake is 8 glasses per day, you need additional glasses when you’re doing physical activities and especially when the temperatures are high.

Before, during, and after your workout, be sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and maintain optimal performance. In addition, avoid sugary or caffeinated beverages, as they can contribute to dehydration. Instead, choose plain water or electrolyte-enhanced drinks.

Also, take note of the early symptoms of dehydration, such as dry mouth, headache, dizziness, and confusion, among others. As soon as you feel these symptoms, immediately stop your workout, sip room-temperature water, and rest in the shade or indoors to prevent complications. If you have equipment like a blood pressure monitor, it may be a good idea to check to see if you need further medical assistance.

Dress Appropriately for the Hot Weather

When it comes to dressing for hot weather workouts, it’s important to choose the right attire. You can opt for lightweight, breathable clothing like those made from cotton or bamboo to help keep your body cool. If you have them, wear outfits made from moisture-wicking materials to draw sweat away from your skin. These types of athletic wear are designed to keep you dry and comfortable during your workout. If you want to workout outside, choose light-colored exercise wear that reflects instead of absorbing heat.

Take Breaks to Prevent Overheating

Listen to your body and take frequent breaks during your workout to prevent overheating. In particular, pay attention to signs of fatigue, dizziness, or excessive sweating, which may indicate that your body needs a rest. If you’re outside, find shade, sip water, and allow your body to cool down before resuming your workout. Taking regular breaks not only helps prevent overheating, but also allows you to listen to your body’s cues and adjust your workout intensity as needed.

Sun Protection Matters

Before heading outdoors for a workout, don’t forget to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Apply sunscreen with a high SPF to all exposed areas of skin, including your face, neck, arms, and legs. Be generous with your sunscreen to ensure your skin is thoroughly defended against harmful UV rays.

It’s important to choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays, and to reapply regularly, especially if you’re sweating heavily or swimming. Bottom line, sunscreen is your first line of defense against sunburn and skin damage, so make it a non-negotiable part of your outdoor workout routine.

Don’t let the heat stop you from pursuing your fitness goals. With these smart strategies for safe summer workouts, you can stay active, fit, and healthy even in the hottest of temperatures. 

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