How to Exercise in the Summer Heat

Check out these six hacks to staying active this summer.

Run in the early morning to beat the heat.

(Jacob Lund /

The August summer heat is here. You may very well be tempted to stay indoors drinking iced tea and skipping your exercise routine but don’t let a heatwave keep you down. There are plenty of ways to keep moving in hot weather.

Remember that exercising on a hot day puts extra stress on your body, according to the Mayo Clinic. So whether you are playing a sport, jogging, or even just taking a walk, you could be raising your core body heat.

If you are exposed to heat too long and sweat a lot, you may not be able to cool yourself down and that could cause heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and could even lead to heat stroke that requires immediate medical care. So take these six precautions to safely keep active in the summer heat.

Acclimate to the Heat

When the weather is heating up, it’s also best to acclimate yourself to higher temperatures by dialing back your pace, according to The Guardian, especially in places like the UK where people are not used to heatwaves.

“You want exposures every day for at least a week to acclimatize,” Clare Lobb, senior physiologist and a technical lead at the English Institute of Sport told The Guardian. “All the science says having your core temperature raised by either a degree and a half, or up to about 38.5C, maintained for an hour, is effective in helping your body acclimatize.”

Start getting used to the heat slowly by doing nonstrenuous exercise.

(Ground Picture /

Stay Hydrated

Make sure that you are hydrated before you exercise. Drink 16 to 24 ounces (around half a liter) of water, sports drinks, or other hydrating liquids around twenty minutes before you begin. Take a bottle of water with you so you do not become dehydrated in the heat. Try to avoid drinks that contain caffeine because that will cause you to lose fluids.

Stay hydrated when you exercise.

(NDAB Creativity /

Exercise Earlier in the Day

Avoid the intense heat of the middle of the day – between 11 am to 3 pm – and exercise early in the morning or later in the day, cautions Performance Health. Also take care to watch the weather and avoid exercising when humidity is high.

Exercise when it is still cool.

(comzeal images /

Dress for the Heat

Make sure to wear light breathable clothing before working out in the heat. Synthetic fabrics like Lycra and nylon easily absorb sweat and evaporation much better than cotton. Wear light colors and make sure to wear a hat. If you become very hot, pour cold water into your hat to help you feel cooler.

Wear the proper exercise clothing for the season.

Wear Sunscreen

Make sure to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or higher and apply every two hours or after you work up a sweat. Avoid getting sunburned because it decreases your body’s ability to cool itself down and also increases the risk of skin cancer. You should also protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses.

Use sunscreen before you exercise.

(Maridav /

Have a Plan B

If the weather report is frightening, have an exercise Plan B. You can pick a cooler route with tree cover if you are walking or running. The Mayo Clinic recommends exercising indoors at a gym, doing a mall walk, or climbing stairs in an air conditioned building.

Exercise in the AC when it is hot outside

(Monkey Business Images /