Seven Tips for Exercising in Hot Weather
It’s cruel, in a way, that during summer—season of free outdoor fitness galore—temperatures creep up so high that even the most moderate workout turns into a Bikram yoga-level sweat session.
The heat doesn’t have to keep you from soaking up the summer sun, though. We asked Tim Khanoyan, founder and trainer at Dare U Fitness, how to work out safely when the mercury climbs. Now you’ve got no excuses.
1. Hydrate all day long. Drinking water during your workout is a no-brainer, but Khanoyan says it’s crucial to start early. “The most important thing is that people are staying hydrated throughout each day, instead of trying to play catch up during the workouts,” he says.
Can’t tell if you’re well-hydrated? It may not be the most glamorous tip, but Khanoyan says the color of your urine is a good indicator. If it’s clear, you’re good to go.
2. And continue after your workout. If you’re unsure of how much to rehydrate, Khanoyan suggests weighing yourself before and after your class or run. “For every pound that’s lost during the activity,” he says, “that’s one pint of water that you now need.” He also recommends a post-workout snack, such as a banana and nuts, to replenish nutrients including sodium, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
3. Eat more greens. You can take in extra water by eating wisely, Khanoyan says. Choose water-rich foods like fruits and vegetables if you plan to sweat heavily later.
4. Take breaks. “It should be part of any instructor’s program to allow people to have breaks,” Khanoyan says. “If a class is not designed that way, people should not be afraid to take the proper rest times for themselves…because they don’t want to put themselves at these risks of becoming dehydrated, cramping up, or heat stroke.”
5. Don’t warm up too hard. Focus on getting the body ready for exercise, without pushing your limits. “The warm up should be just getting the body loose,” Khanoyan says. “You’re not supposed to be getting exhausted at this point yet.”
6. Temper your expectations. You likely won’t beat your PR on a hot, humid July day, and that’s okay. “You shouldn’t expect your performance to be the same, because naturally, you are going to be sweating more,” Khanoyan notes. “Tailor to the way your body is feeling.”
7. Move inside if you must. Everybody loves an outdoor fitness session, but sometimes it’s just not in the cards. “When you step outside and you think, ‘Oh my god, it is scorching hot,’ maybe you should think to yourself, ‘I’ll do a workout inside today,'” Khanoyan says. “Maybe that’s a great day for a cross-training workout.”