This time of year is an absolutely beautiful time to exercise outdoors. The sun’s out, there’s no snow on the ground, and the leaves have bloomed in all their fullest glory. The one problem? It can get hot.
When the temperature hits above the nineties, outdoor workouts can feel absolutely sweltering, and many people have a hard time enjoying these sweat sessions. That heat can make your legs feel just a little bit heavier, your heart pump a little bit faster, and your sweat drip a little more intensely. Unless you’re the type who loves hot workouts (like hot yoga, for instance), this weather simply isn’t ideal.
Luckily, there are a few ways to beat the heat while exercising outdoors that will help you enjoy the summer weather in all its glory.
- Start the session off right and lather on sunscreen. When it’s super hot out, chances are the sun is at its peak and the rays are coming down quite strong. Protect your whole body by applying sunscreen to all visible skin. Be sure to grab a sweat-proof sunscreen for effective ray blockage and safety.
- Wear the right clothing. Minimal clothing is best (while still feeling comfortable running outside, of course). Bare skin helps you dry off and cool off more quickly, making you feel less uncomfortable during and post-run. If you’re not as into working out in minimal garb, grab yourself some sweat-wicking tops and shorts to keep you as cool as possible. Loose fitting tops in moisture-wicking material work best.
- Cool down prior to your run. If your body temperature is significantly lower to start off, it will take longer to come up to super hot levels. Prior to your run or outdoor class, go into an air-conditioned space if you have one and take a few deep breaths to soak in the cool temperatures. Alternatively, drink lots of ice water, suck on an ice cube, or down some slush.
- Accept that your performance may change. As you’re exercising in the heat, you may notice that your pace isn’t as fast as you normally run, or you can’t perform as many push-ups as you typically can. In the heat, you’ll need to slow down your pace or shorten your time outdoors to stay safe and ensure that your body temperature doesn’t get too high. Ultimately, it’s most important to listen to your body’s signals – it knows best!
- After your exercise session, cool down with a cold shower to bring your body temperature back to normal. On particularly hot days, it may take longer for your body temperature to lower, which can even make it hard to sleep once you get into bed. Be sure to walk it out after a difficult, hot exercise session, stretch, and cool down with a cold bath or shower.
Exercising in the heat doesn’t have to be terrible. Learn to embrace the hot weather for the rest of the summer – if you live in a seasonal climate like we do, come winter, you’ll be begging for the heat to come back yet again!