Tips for Exercising in the Summer Heat


Rhoades Car

Photo from Flickr by Kullez

Tips for Exercising in the Summer Heat

As temperatures climb and many of us reach the hottest days of the summer months, exercising outdoors becomes trickier. We’ve all heard the many stories of athletes – both professional and amateur alike – suffering from heat exhaustion while working out in hot conditions.

Biking is one of those activities. If you’re going to ride while it’s excessively warm, consider these tips to avoid heat exhaustion, heat stroke and dehydration.

Consider the time of day.

If you don’t have to exercise or ride in the heat of the afternoon, don’t. Active.com contributor Joe Decker recommends early morning as the best time for outdoor activities on an excessively hot day.

It can’t be said enough. Drink lots of water before you head out. Take a water bottle with you. Also, be sure to replenish your electrolytes.

Clothing matters.

When it’s hot outside, it’s not the best time to wear your tight-fitting t-shirts. Opt instead for loose fitting clothing that’s lighter in color. Cotton is good; specially designed running shirts and shorts are better, as many of them are made with material specifically meant to keep you cool.

Wear sunscreen.

Yep, we’ve all heard this one over and over again as well, but it’s important. Apply at least an SPF 45 before heading out for a workout.

Consider humidity.

If the day is predicted to be both excessively hot and humid, move your workout indoors. Researchers say that humidity is a significant factor in exercising safely. On humid days, your body’s sweat doesn’t adequately evaporate to cool you, so you’re better off in an indoor location.

Rhoades CarDon’t exercise alone.

A good tip from the American Heart Association – having a friend or family member with you while exercising not only makes the activity more fun, but it’s safer for both of you. You’re never too old for the buddy system. Riding a Rhoades Car with a friend is always more fun.

Be smart.

Most importantly, pace yourself. If you’re forced to work out in the heat of the day, don’t push yourself beyond your capabilities. Consider indoor options if it’s excessively hot and you’re not able to get your exercise early in the morning.

But … it’s not all bad.

According to Men’s Fitness magazine, heat can actually improve your performance when taken into proper consideration. Now, it’s not recommended for the casual or recreational athlete, but studies have shown that high-level cyclists have made significant improvements once becoming acclimated to working out in a higher temperature.

Even so, high heat and humidity are not things to be taken lightly. Plan accordingly, hydrate and get out as early in the day as possible to enjoy the benefits of a summer workout and comfortable ride. Exercise is important, even in the heat of the summer.

How do you stay cool in the summer? Leave a comment.