Running in the heat

Summer Sizzle: Tips for Working Out in the Heat

It’s summer, and the sun is beating down—but you want to keep moving and stay fit.

So how do you keep working toward your training goals as the temperature soars?

We’ll give you six tips—but first, here’s why it’s tougher to train when it’s hot: Heat adds more stress to the body.

With warmer weather, your body’s core temperature increases, and it has to work harder to regulate it. Your heart has to pump faster to deal with the stress of the temperature and your movement—as if the workout wasn’t challenging enough by itself!

If you have any specific heat-related concerns or medical conditions, be sure to contact a doctor before becoming active. But if you’re generally healthy and active, these tips will help you keep moving this summer. Remember, if you feel unwell at any time when training in the heat, break off the session and get to a cooler place. If symptoms are extreme, contact a healthcare provider right away.

  1. Wear the right clothing—Make sure you’re wearing lightweight, breathable clothes that encourage airflow. Modest people might not want to go with a bare-minimum approach, but others will find it helpful to take off as much clothing as possible. Be sure to check on what’s acceptable wherever you’re training.
  2. Manage the sun—Direct sunlight can really heat things up, so indoor workouts or shady spots are perfect. But if they aren’t available, make sure you wear sunscreen, protect your head with a hat, and wear light colors that don’t absorb as much heat. You’ll probably sweat a lot, so make sure to reapply sunscreen as needed according to the instructions on the bottle.
  3. Enjoy the breeze, set up a fan, and “just add water”—Air movement is your friend when it’s hot. Try to find breezy spots or fire up a fan to help you stay cool as you train. You might even dowse yourself with a garden hose or soak your hat in water from time to time to cool down.
  4. Train around the heat—Check the forecast, see when it’s supposed to be coolest, and plan your workout for that time.
  5. Stay hydrated—You’re going to sweat, so you need to take in some fluid to replace what you lose. Remember, it’s also possible to drink too much, so don’t overdo it here. For shorter workouts, just make sure you have water available and sip as needed before, during, and after the workout. For long, intense workouts or events, you should consult an expert who can ensure you have the right plan. As for sports drinks, they’re an option, but they usually contain a lot of sugar. Be sure to check the labels so you pick beverages that support your goals.
  6. Reduce intensity as needed—If it feels like you’re training in an oven, it’s fine to slow down, rest more often or take breaks. Remember, one workout isn’t going to make or break your training plan. If it’s 95F and you feel like a piece of bacon, adjust your plan. For example, you might cancel a high-intensity workout with sprinting, sled pushes, and pull-ups in favor of some heavy lifting in short sets with lots of recovery time between them. Or maybe you pass on the workout and ride your bike to a nearby pool for a dip. That activity counts, too, even if it’s not a “workout.”

We Can Help!

There you have it—six basic tips to manage the heat this summer.

Remember, an expert coach can help you ensure your training plan is perfect for you and make adjustments if the weather requires them.

To book a free consultation and find out more about working with a coach, click here!