5 Tips for Exercising When It’s Really, Really Hot Out
There’s you, a canceled gym membership and one two many glasses of rosé at the company happy hour last night. Your plan was to wake up early and squeeze in a run to counteract all that wine…too bad the temps are soaring into the 70s and it’s only 7 a.m. Don’t fret. With the right precautions, you can still work out (carefully) in the heat.
Take a Cold Shower Before You Work Out
Sure, it’s a chilling thought, but hopping in before you pound the pavement, say, for a run, can help cool your skin—and reduce your core body temp—ahead of a workout when temps are high. Just be sure you get your hair wet and leave it that way. (Slicking damp strands back in a ponytail is just another way to stay cool.)
Wear Loose Fitting (and Light-Colored) Clothing
Come on, you need something breathable with good ventilation or else you’re at risk of trapping the heat. It’s also a good idea to steer clear of black workout clothes. (Yep, we know it looks super sleek, but all it does is attract the sun.)
...And Plenty of SPF
It sounds kind of basic, but even on overcast and hazy days, the sun’s rays are strong. That’s why you’ll need a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, but also one that’s lightweight enough that it won’t clog pores when you’re sweating profusely. (We love this one from Coola.) Slather it on right before you head outdoors.
Begin Hydrating First Thing in the Morning
It makes sense: The hotter it gets, the more you sweat. But drinking a ton of water right before, during and after you work out isn’t enough to replace fluids lost on an unusually hot day. If you know you’re heading outdoors for a moderate workout later in the afternoon, start sipping first thing in the morning—ideally 16 to 24 ounces every couple of hours—so your body has a surplus to draw from. (Also important: Don’t discount the value of sports drinks like Gatorade when it comes to boosting electrolytes for workouts in the heat.)
Shorten Your Workouts
So, you usually try to log a three-mile run. But if temps are soaring into the 80s, it might be smart to break that up into smaller increments. (For example, you could try doing one mile at a time.) You don’t have to adjust the intensity, but taking breaks to cool off gives your body a chance to recover so you don’t overheat.