Summer Exercise Tips: Working Out in the Heat

  • Make sure to choose the right time of day to exercise and to wear sunscreen. 
  • Dressing in appropriate clothing can make outdoor workouts more enjoyable.
  • Be aware of certain health and safety practices whenever exercising in the summer.
  • Choose snacks that help you feel hydrated and fresh to beat the heat.

Exercise is one of the most important things you can do for your health. However, you might find it hard when obstacles such as the summer heat get in the way. Some people may think that it is not safe or enjoyable to workout outdoors during the summer months. Don’t worry, because there are some tricks you can use to make it very enjoyable!

Keep the time of day in mind.

While  all love how long the summer days can be. You may want to get in outdoor exercises. However, it is better to do them at certain times than others. The sun is at its hottest between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm. This means that it’s best for you to plan your workouts around these restricted times. Many people might enjoy working out early in the morning. They say that it leaves them energized for the day. They also start with a great initial accomplishment. On the other hand, exercising outdoors right before bed can help some people fall asleep faster. However, keep in mind that it could leave you with too much energy. It might keep you up for longer than you would like! Everyone has different timing preferences. However, we can all agree that the sun tends to be beating down around lunchtime. It can even get to the point of breaking sweat just from walking outside!

Apply your sunscreen!

“Why not knock out two birds with one stone by getting a tan while exercising?” This is probably a thought that has run through your mind. It might even sound like a great idea! However, you must remember to protect your skin from the harsh summer rays. Make sure to apply sunscreen on all exposed skin. We recommend using sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 50 or higher. It can also be helpful to find morning face moisturizers that already have an SPF. This will help protect the skin on your face. It will also help prevent wrinkles and sunspots. Make sure to keep these in handy whether you are exercising outside or simply leaving your house

Dress for the occasion. 

When exercising in the heat, the last thing you want to do is wear clothing that could bring on heat exhaustion. What you wear matters! There is an ideal type of clothing to wear during higher temperatures. Make sure to choose those that are light-colored, sweat-wicking, and loose. Tight and dark clothing can make you feel even hotter because they trap the heat against your skin. This will cause your internal temperature to rise. And don’t forget to apply sunscreen on all exposed skin! This will prevent sunburns, which reduce your body’s ability to cool itself!

Always stay hydrated, but not too hydrated!

Nothing is more important while exercising than staying hydrated. This is true whether you are indoors or outdoors. Nearly 60 percent of the human body is composed of water. It is essential for multiple body functions. When you are dehydrated, your body can no longer operate optimally. Symptoms of dehydration include fatigue, thirst, and muscle cramps. You might especially feel those cramps in the abdomen. So, how can you prevent yourself from experiencing these?

  • Women should aim to drink at least 2.7 liters every day. Meanwhile, men need to drink at least 3.7 liters. Try to spread this intake evenly throughout the day. Make sure to drink some  extra fluids during and after your workout!
  • Aim to avoid alcohol, caffeine, and sugary drinks. These beverages may contain high amounts of sugar and sodium. These might deplete your tissues of water.
  • Are you needing some flavor? Try drinking low-sugar sports drinks that contain high amounts of electrolytes! Electrolytes are essential minerals. They are important for many functions in the body.

Choose cool snacks for your pre- and post-workout meals. Here are some ideas!

In addition to being properly hydrated, it is important to have the right nutrients! Imagine being able to find meals that could not only provide the proper nutrition. They can also keep you cool throughout the day! They will definitely help prevent overheating. Try any of the foods below. Eat them alone as your pre-workout snack. You may also add a source of protein if you are eating this post-workout:

  • Dates
  • Watermelon
  • Cucumbers
  • Coconut water
  • Celery
  • Popsicles
  • Frozen berries
  • Bananas

Don’t go too hard and know when to quit.

Getting fresh air while having an amazing workout can be the best feeling! However, you need to recognize that the summer heat is an extra restriction that shouldn’t be ignored. So when should you take a break or start your cooldown? If you start feeling any symptoms of dehydration, it is probably time to take a breather. It is important for you to take a break! The consequences of continuing could be getting sick or injured. Throwing up on the side of the road during your run is never fun. Constantly refuel with electrolytes! We also recommend breaking up your workouts into smaller segments if necessary. Your health is the top priority. Your body will tell you what it needs.

Be able to identify symptoms of heat exhaustion or a heat stroke.

One of the best ways to protect yourself is to be able to identify symptoms. For the summer season, we have to be on the lookout for heat exhaustion and heat stroke. We also need to know what to do if this occurs. 


Symptoms of a heat stroke:

  • Hot, red, dry skin
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Losing consciousness
  • Body temperature of 103 degrees Fahrenheit (40 °C)and higher
  • Fast, strong pulse
  • Dizziness 
  • Confusion 


What to do if this occurs:

  • Call 911 immediately.
  • Move to a cool place.
  • Use a cold cloth or a bath to lower the body temperature.
  • Do not drink anything.


Symptoms of heat exhaustion:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Fast, weak pulse
  • Muscle cramps
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Pale, clammy skin
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Headache


What to do if this occurs:

  • Sip on water.
  • Move to a cool place.
  • Use a  cold cloth or a bath to cool down.
  • Loosen clothing.
  • Call 911 if symptoms get worse or do not go away after an hour. Also, call if throwing up occurs.

Now you have some ideas on how to stay safe and healthy in the summer heat! You can go ahead and enjoy going on runs, hiking on the nearest trail, playing your favorite sports, and more! Just make sure to properly hydrate. Always remember to wear sunscreen and proper clothing. Know when is the best time of day to train and when to quit! Finally,  be able to recognize the symptoms of dangerous health conditions. Enjoy the sun and stay safe!


Staying safe while exercising in the summer heat is possible. Just make sure to follow a few guidelines! Keep cool and enjoy the sun and fresh air! Whether you go on runs, on runs, hike on the nearest trail, and play your favorite sports, please make sure to stay safe!

Scientific Information

  • Electrolytes are essential minerals that are important for many functions in the body.
  • Sweat-wicking clothing – is made of modern technical fabrics that draw moisture away from the body.
  • Muscle cramps – are sudden and involuntary contractions of the muscle.
  • Sodium – is a mineral, and one of the chemical elements found in salt.
Written by:

Christine VanDoren

Certified Personal Trainer and Nutritionist

Reviewed by:
Registered Dietitian
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