5 Tips for Staying Cool When Exercising in the Heat

woman running down road in heat

Exercising is a great way to challenge your body. And when the temperature is hot, the additional challenge from the sun can expose you to heat-related illnesses.

Take cover and read on to discover five safe practices for staying cool when exercising in the heat.

Safety Tips When Exercising in the Heat

Don’t make your workout harder by fighting the sun. It’s important to lower your core temperature to avoid heat-related issues.

Listen to your body and be safe by following these tips for working out in hot weather.

Stay Hydrated

Normally when you work out, your skin, blood vessels, and perspiration adapt to the heat.

But when you’re exercising in the heat, you sweat heavily and your body has a hard time keeping you cool. This is especially true if you don’t drink enough fluids.

It is recommended to drink 16 to 24 ounces of water a couple hours before you exercise in the heat.

On top of that, make sure to drink 8 ounces of fluid every 15 to 20 minutes during exercise.

Water is good for workouts of an hour or less. Longer workouts, though, require sports drinks containing carbohydrates and electrolytes. These drinks help to keep you from wearing down in the heat.

You want to stay ahead of the game. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty.

Staying hydrated is important to avoid suffering from these heat-related illnesses.

  • heat cramps
  • lightheadedness or fainting
  • heat exhaustion
  • heatstroke
  • sun poisoning

Schedule Early Workouts

When you work out is just as important as how you work out.

Avoid working out during the hottest part of the day. Check the hour-by-hour forecast for your area and do your best to avoid exercising during the hottest part of the day.

As a rule, early morning is the best time to work out. Avoid exercising between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when it’s hottest outside.

Watch the Humidity

When we sweat, it evaporates on top of your skin to cool the body.

But when you’re exercising in heavy humidity, the air is already filled with fluid. This means your sweat doesn’t achieve the same evaporative cooling effect as it would in a drier environment.

This is where morning or evening workouts usually provide more optimum conditions for working out.

If it’s hot and humid outside, consider moving your workout indoors and avoid the heat altogether.

Wear Loose Clothes with Light Colors

Wearing lighter colors will help you reflect heat.

New high-tech running shirts and shorts using nano-technology are very breathable and keep you cool.

Workout clothes made with cotton also help with the evaporation of sweat to help you combat the heat.

Don’t Overdo It

Exercising in the heat is usually only necessary if you are training for an event held in the heat. Most athletes do not need heat acclimating.

Even if you’re training for a marathon, you don’t need to overdo it and push your body past its limits.

You can train in the heat to get acclimated to it. But train to improve your conditioning over time, not by overdoing it during a workout.

The Finish Line

When exercising in the heat, it’s important to stay hydrated and time your workouts to limit heat and humidity.

Wear clothes that keep you cool and don’t go overboard during your workouts.

If you liked this article, be sure to check out our other health-related content.

Certified Urgent Care logo