Summer heat has arrived across the country in full force. While the blooming flowers and spring air beckon you to come out of hibernation and start exercising again, the excessive heat might make that a difficult ask. But how do you exercise safely if you don’t have the luxury of an air-conditioned gym?
Let’s find out.
Early birds and night owls
The simplest strategy to avoid overheating is to exercise when it is coolest, but still light. Depending on when it suits you, exercise at dawn or dusk. This will not only be a lot more pleasant, but if you’re out jogging, you’ll more than likely encounter less people. It’s your time to own the road.
Water, water, water
The most important part of any exercise session is staying hydrated. Your bottle of water should always be by your side. Because the hot weather causes you to sweat more, you can become dehydrated much easier. If you’re planning a particularly intense exercise session, have a sports drink as well, or add an electrolyte powder to your water. Electrolytes help maintain fluid balance within the body, reducing your risk of dehydration.
Appropriate clothing is essential. If you’re exercising outside, you’re at risk of serious sunburn. So, opt for short sleeve shirts and shorts, but make sure to layer on the sunscreen to protect your skin. Alternatively, look for lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking long-sleeve shirts and full-length pants to keep the sun away. Otherwise, you might easily overheat. Don't forget a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
Everybody’s free to wear sunscreen
If the previous point didn’t emphasize it enough, remember that your skin is delicate and needs to be protected. Harmful Ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause long-term harm, so apply sunscreen with a high Sun Protection Factor (SPF) rating before every exercise session. In fact, wearing sunscreen every time you step out is vital. You’ll never regret putting on sunscreen.
Seek the shade
If you’ve got a garden, or want to work out outside in a park, look for a shadier area. You’ll be surprised just how much cooler it is under a tree.
Listen to your bod
Your body won’t lie to you. If you’re feeling dizzy, nauseous, weak, or sweating excessively, stop and take a break. Overexerting yourself in extreme heat can lead to heat exhaustion or heatstroke. If you don’t feel like you are able to recover quickly, end your exercise session for the day.
Look to the skies
Check the weather predictions beforehand. If it’s going to get warmer while you exercise, it’s best to wait.
Exercising in the sweltering summer heat is a challenge that comes with a lot of risks. It will push your body further and harder. But, by taking the necessary precautions, you can take your exercises outside, and enjoy a cool breeze on your face on your journey to a healthier, happier you.
Best of all, with the Tempo wellness programme, you can start Fitness Journey and log exercises, join classes, take part in challenges, or set your own, all at no cost to you. You also have access to one (1) face-to-face and a follow-up (face-to-face or virtual) consultation with Tempo partner biokineticists for fitness assessments and personalised exercise plans.
Cnet. 2023. Tricks to Stay Cool When Exercising Outdoors. Available here.
UC Davis Health. 2022. 5 tips to exercise safely when it's hot outside. Available here.
IncentFit. 2023. 6 Tips To Stay Safe While Doing Outdoor Workouts. Available here.
National Institute for Fitness & Sport (NIFS). 2022. Everything You Need to Know About Electrolytes and Exercise. Available here.