May 252014

How to Exercise Safely in the Summer Heat

If you’ve been cramped up all winter waiting for summer to get outside and get active, now is the time to cash in on the promises you made to yourself. Exercising outdoors is invigorating but can also be dangerous if you are not equipped properly. Here are some tips to keep you safe.


Running is one of the most popular outdoor activities and it is a lot of fun to run outside. Let’s face it the thud of a treadmill quickly loses its attraction! Many people don’t even think about how the heat may be affecting them when they take to the road. However, even if you are used to being outdoors, extremes of temperature combined with your condition on any particular day can spell disaster. Always take steps to protect yourself, such as carrying enough water, wearing proper sun protection such as a hat, sunscreen and clothing, and mixing up direct sun exposure with shaded paths.

No matter what kind of exercise you plan to do here are some tips to keep you safe.

1. Wear proper clothing

So many advances have been made in fitness clothing. There are affordable clothes that wick away moisture leaving your skin dry. If you don’t want to or can’t invest in this type of clothing, wear breathable cotton. It might seem tempting to wear less clothing when you’re outside but the more exposed your skin is, the more risk you face of sunburn and even skin cancer.

2. Go out Later – Summer days are longer. That means you have even more time to be outside! Play an extra game of basketball or swim in the twilight. Enjoy the added hours of light but make a good choice and avoid spending the hottest hours of the day outside.

3. Stay hydrated – This may be the most important type. You should always have adequate water with you or have access to water supplies. Your body will need more water to stay hydrated in the heat. Having cold water at the ready can also be a lifesaver if you do get overheated.

4. Take a Timeout – Pushing your body is one thing but don’t be afraid to slow down and take a break. You are working even harder with the addition of heat and humidity. If you feel tired – stop. A good rule of thumb is to take a break every hour.

5. Eat Well – Exercising is about more than just physical activity. Have you ever heard the expression, “abs are made in the kitchen?” It won’t matter how much you work out if you’re eating junk. By making good, healthy choices you can exercise longer and receive the greatest benefit for your effort.

If you are an avid outdoor person, you can keep up the practice on warm days. Just use some common sense and stay safe. The body is a fascinating machine that works without any assistance from us but there are different factors that can complicate this process. Be aware and respond appropriately and you will be well on your way to a safe and satisfying summer outside!

  100 Responses to “How to Exercise Safely in the Summer Heat”

  1. Good advice not just for running but it applies to walking hiking also

  2. Those are all great tips. If I could stop eating junk I think I’d be in much better shape!

  3. Wonderful tips and totally pinning to refer back to for the summer months now 🙂

  4. Good tips! It’s already starting to get hot here, so this is timely! Hope you’ve been well these past couple months! 🙂

  5. Great tips. When I run in the summer, I try to go out before the heat of the day, if I can. Otherwise, I have to wait until evening.

  6. I vote for early morning before the heat is to excessive. And I do it in an air conditioned gym!

  7. My favorite tip is 3. Stay hydrated – This may be the most important type.
    I always say, if you aren’t feeling well, drink water. This is super true while exercising outside as well. Thanks.

  8. Those are definitely some great tips. It gets very hot in GA in the summer time. I prefer to do most of my exercising inside. That’s when a YMCA membership comes in real handy.

  9. I need to practice these safety pointers when I am out working in the yard! It gets mighty hot down here!

  10. I’ve never been a runner – but I do see an awful lot of folks out in the early morning and then around dusk jogging. Keeping hydrated I would think would be key not just for running but any outdoor activity!

  11. Water Water Water! Too often people pick the wrong beverages to keep them hydrated. Soda and coffee won’t do it. 🙂

  12. Great tips! I have a hard time keeping hydrated in the summer. I am guilty of not drinking enough water.

  13. Great advice for anyone working out in the heat. I don’t run but do walk.

  14. when we are out and about in the hot summer, I think it’s the only time my kids don’t argue with me about drinking water. they beg for it.
    My husband has this really cool thing called a “camel back” that we use when we are biking. It holds about 2 litres and you wear it on your back, so your hands are free. It’s fantastic.

  15. I live in Florida and it is so dangerous to exercise outside in the middle of the day. You need to be very hydrated all the time even when not exercising in Florida 🙂

  16. I love that time frame later in the day when the hottest sun is gone but it’s still nice outside (and daylight!)!!

  17. We like to ride our bikes and try to do it early in the morning. My Hubs is such a pain when it gets hot that I don’t even ask him to ride later in the day.

  18. Yesterday, it was 40 degrees celsius here..and that is not even our summer temp yet. I cannot imagine how hot it’s going to be next month and I also don’t want to give up my morning run so these tips, I am ever grateful. thank you for sharing!

  19. i’ve always heard never to exercise hard if it’s over 85 degrees….

  20. Great tips! These are definitely important now that it’s 85+ degrees out here every day!

  21. Really great advice! I am looking forward to starting my running journey and was thinking of keeping the other exercises indoors so I could take advantage of the AC… It can just get too hot!

  22. When this boot comes off I’ll be out exercising (gently) around 5:30am!! It’s the only way I can do it in the heat – early!

  23. It is just so dang hot out, I could barely clean out my car the other day at 4pm. I need to do things earlier in the day.

  24. Be fully healthy eating and exercise equipment must also be good quality too.
    Recommend the latest exercise equipment

  25. I don’t exercise in the heat, ever! I can’t stand to get all hot and sweaty outdoors. One of my strength training classes goes outdoors in the summer to exercise, so I end up missing it all summer because I refuse to work out in the hot sun. Yes, I am a baby like that. I do love me some good air conditioning lol. Great tips for those who do work out outside though!

  26. Fantastic advice, I would love to be able to run but sadly I can’t so I stick to swimming but so much of it carries over 🙂 x

  27. Great tips I live if FL and I always take water with me when I walk.

  28. I was out on Saturday with my daughters sporting my bald head and then it dawned on me that head was very vulnerable. Luckily I was wearing a hoody, so up it went. I just had on a scarf similar to my post today. Yikes, I was told to wear sunscreen but I had completely forgotten.

  29. Such great points! I know I get really lazy when it’s too hot. Hydration and going out later definitely makes a huge difference for me! Great great points!

  30. Great tips! Especially like the one about running at twilight, when it’s definitely cooler. Thanks!

  31. Drinking water is so important but all of these are great tips. I just need to get myself motivated and out there again.

  32. Great tips! Staying hydrated is so important. One time is was so humid when I was running on the treadmill and I felt dizzy at the end of the workout – I immediately drank more water and this helped!

  33. I like to run early in the morning before the road heats up too much. I do enjoy other exercise (like bike riding) in the evening when it starts to cool down.

  34. These are great tips for exercising in summer heat. I’m in Florida, so I am really careful when exercising outside.

  35. I actually work out at the gym. I was already thinking it’s gunna be even hotter now! It’s been in the 100’s here lately.

  36. Good tips. You can’t emphasize enough how important staying hydrated is to running (or any other outdoor activity in the summer).

  37. I think a lot of people underestimate the dangers of heatstroke and heat exhaustion during the warm weather months. It’s important to keep these tips in mind during exercising.

  38. Great post robin. I think a lot of people forget how much the sun can affect them especially when exercising

  39. Great exercise tips, staying hydrated is very important! I like running outside a lot better than a treadmill.

  40. All great tips – especially about the water. So many of us fail to drink enough.

  41. Hydration is so important! When I exercise, I often forget this one. Oops! Thanks for the great reminder so we can all stay safe this summer.

  42. Awesome tips I rather go early morning tho than later

  43. I get burned in 40 degrees weather no joke my upper lips are all sorted out from the sun n wind because I didn’t use sunscreen or drink a lot of water

  44. These are great tips for runners. Really they are great for all outdoor activities. I like to exercise early in the day as well.

  45. Yes and it’s starting to heat up too, at least for this one day in NY haha. Man I wish I had a pool so that I could swim at twilight. Would be nice to get exercise in a soothing way.

  46. I like your advice to eat well. I think dieting is detrimental to the health, I much prefer lifestyle changes.

  47. It’s an absolute must to go out early in the morning or late at night in the summertime here in Arizona. Great tips!

  48. Going out later in the day is a great tip. It’s easy to get overheated and dehydrated in the heat.

  49. These are really good tips but, not to take any chances, I think I’ll just skip the exercise altogether!

  50. Those are great tips… I would advise actually going out earlier here in Texas, as even later it can be sweltering… early morning is normally the coolest. Thanks for sharing your tips 🙂

  51. running in the heat is pretty hard for me. I try to stay really hydrated and eat a healthy meal

  52. I started running and I love it! I’ve been worried about the summer heat, thanks for the tips! 🙂

  53. Great tips! They can also apply to doing anything in the summer heat. We also try to go out early and then rest mid day when the sun is hottest.

  54. Great tips. It gets really hot here in the summer.

  55. Great tips. I see these runners sometimes and think they are crazy. Mid day no water.

  56. Exercising inside or swimming laps in the pool are good options as well.

  57. I will share these tips with my DD and she loves to run in the warm weather. Thank you for sharing,

  58. Great tips! I need to work on staying hydrated better and not *just* on the days I work out.

  59. Oh this is great 🙂 I had a lot of problems running in summer – I ended up always going just before sunset, but these are awesome tips! Gotta remember the water…

  60. Great tips! The “go out later” is a HUGE deal here in Florida…already in the 90’s during the day, and it’s no fun to run in that…or do much of anything in that!

  61. Very good tips– I think most people do not realize how much water they should be getting, especially in the summer. It is so easy to get dehydrated when it’s really hot.

  62. Great advice, pushing your self too hard in the sun can be dangerous!

  63. It’s vital to make sure that you’re hydrated while working out/exercising during the summer time, wouldn’t want to pass out.

  64. Great tips! I would also add, wearing sunscreen is a must. My hubby had his arm out of the car window during our 20 minutes car ride and by the time we came back home his right arm was completely red from the sun. When we take the kid out to the parc we always make sure to bring lots of water so that he can stay hydrated!

  65. It’s so easy to forget to stay hydrated and be careful in the summer. These are great tips!

  66. The heat is crazy here in Oklahoma. I usually go out early in the morning when it is still cool. Staying hydrated is important but I just recently discovered that it is possible to become over hydrated especially in the summer if your working out. When you sweat you lose a great deal of salt which then throws of the water/salt balance in your body resulting in overhydration. So its important to not over hydrate and to consume a bit of salt to even things out even if it is just a small packet of salt or specialty sodium products made for runners. Great tips!

  67. These are all great tips! Especially since it is about to get super hot out!! I love being active outside so I keep all of this tips in mind! Thanks!

  68. These are all great tips! Especially since it is about to get super hot out!! I love being active outside so I will keep all of these tips in mind! Thanks!

  69. The clothing and the water, so important. I keep saying this to friends and just yesterday they called saying they nearly over heated, because they didn’t dress properly 🙁

  70. As a runner I could not agree more but sometimes it pays to go out earlier when the asphalt isn’t super hot

  71. These are very good tips!
    I especially agree with going out later or very early and staying hydrated!

  72. Thanks for all the great tips! I always seem to get dehydrated when the weather is hot so I really need to start drinking more water!

  73. These are great tips.. being hydrated is so important! Also go early in the morning or later on at night.. much cooler out.. usually..

  74. Living in Miami, we get pretty good at working around the heat! We only go out in the early morning or late afternoon–after 6! It’s HOT out there. Omg if I ran, I’d get heat stroke.

  75. Great tip!
    Even if we look at nature, all the summer fruits are juicy. Even nature helps us stay hydrated and all these fruits help us stay healthy and fit too 🙂

  76. Those are great tips. I exercise in the gym but have been thinking about taking some of my days outdoors.

  77. Thanks for the tips. I tend to avoid exersize in the sun during the summer cause I easily get heat stroke. These are some great ways to prevent that.

  78. It gets soooooooooooooooooooo humid here in Toronto. We had to turn on the a/c last evening.

  79. Great tips. I’m so happy it is warmer out but yeah exercising in this heat is awful. Keeping hydrated and eating well after is key!

  80. Those are great tips! Staying hydrated is sooo important!

  81. Nice tips. What worked for me last year, was taking a large cup of water right when I woke and up and one before bed. That in addition to drinking through the day helped me stay hydrated.

  82. Hydration is so important – along with being aware of the signs of heat stroke.

  83. Thanks for sharing these tips! I was just thinking about this this morning when I was considering a morning run/walk. Now I need to get out the door! 🙂

  84. Those are great tips!!! Hydration is always important!

  85. Great tips Robin! Staying hydrated and also going out later in the day is important!

  86. running in the summer is so hard. I like to go first thing in the morning before the sun has a chance to make anything hot

  87. Great tips! I usually forget the water once or twice before I remember that it is too hot to run without water now!

  88. Very good tips – staying hydrated is VERY important. We went bike-riding on a hot summer day – we did more than 20 miles that day. We must have stopped at gas stations and mini-marts four times to buy Sobe Lifewaters once our water bottles were empty. It was a great workout, but I’ve never drunk so much liquid in my life when exercising than that time. Stumbled this!

  89. Great tips, thanks! We always bring lots of water with us to the park. Staying hydrated is a must!!

  90. Those are all GREAT tips my dear! Thank you.

  91. great tips. I like to do the beach (3k) by my house in the evenings in the summer, nice and cool. I hate being over heated.

  92. These are perfect tips. I plan on spending the summer helping my daughter train for her cross country team, so these are so timely!

  93. for hot days i like clothing that breathes ! love your tips! =)

  94. Such Great Tips Thank You I Will Be Using Your Always So Helpful!!

  95. These are such helpful tips! I end up wearing the same clothing year round and I know that in summer I definitely need to switch to something more breathable.

  96. I try and exercise in the morning. Drink lots of water! 🙂

  97. Great post! Absolutely agree with you! Thank you for sharing!

  98. Hydration is so important. I don’t sweat enough and get overheated easy. Then it takes 2 days of feeling sick to my stomach to recover.

  99. These are tried and true tips! Thanks for sharing.